The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to providing seamless care for Veterans, including access to a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR).
In May 2018, VA awarded Cerner Corp. a contract to replace its current EHR systems with the same commercial off-the-shelf EHR — Cerner Millennium — currently being deployed by the Department of Defense (DOD). The Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) initiative is leveraging this new system, which will be shared by DOD, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and participating community care providers, to give VA staff access to a complete view of the care Veterans received during their military service and in the private sector. By storing Veteran health records in a common system, VA will eliminate the current reliance on multiple complex clinical interfaces and manual data entry. The new EHR system will provide clinicians with quick and efficient access to data, improving VA’s delivery of health care to our nation’s Veterans.
The Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office (EHRM IO) provides program management and oversight of the EHRM implementation effort.
THE EHRM EFFORT HAS THREE MAJOR COMPONENTS
- Implement the same EHR system as DOD and USCG — a system that is interoperable with community care providers and enables the seamless sharing of Veteran records from active duty and beyond.
- Provide Veterans and clinicians with a complete picture of a patient’s medical history, driving connections between military service and health outcomes through data analytics.
- Offer an improved and more consistent patient scheduling experience at VA medical facilities and community care partners nationwide.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE
In fiscal year (FY) 2021, the EHRM program made great progress, including the first deployments of the new EHR in October 2020 at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Spokane, Washington, and the West Consolidated Patient Account Center (WCPAC) in Las Vegas. Data collected at Mann-Grandstaff VAMC and lessons learned from the deployment have informed further refinement of the EHR system.
Achievements by the numbers:
- Migrated a historic 23.9 million Veteran health records (as of September 2020).
- Collaborated with more than 1,450 VA staff on more than 450 workflow adoption activities and more than 225 stakeholders across 4,310 unique interactions to support the configuration and implementation of the EHR.
- Deployed 27 new capabilities at Mann-Grandstaff VAMC (in addition to the 216 capabilities included at deployment). These enhancements provide new functionality in many areas, including diagnostic testing and telehealth, and improved data sharing for immunizations and prescription drug monitoring.
- Expanded VA and DOD’s joint health information exchange network to include the CommonWell Health Alliance, successfully enrolling 10,767,254 patients in a data sharing exchange with VA, DOD and community care providers, and added more than 24,000 additional hospitals and clinics as community partners.
THE WAY AHEAD
VA is rolling out its new EHR at facilities across the country over the course of several years. The department will continue to maintain and support its legacy EHR systems throughout this period until every VA medical facility has the new EHR system, ensuring that current patient records are accessible and there is no interruption in the delivery of quality care.
After the full EHR deployment is complete, VA clinicians nationwide will have a complete and accurate record of each patient’s health history, improving the overall quality of health care provided to our nation’s Veterans.