VA Launches New Electronic Health Record System in Pacific Northwest in Mission to Modernize Care for Veterans
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began using its new electronic health record (EHR) system Oct. 24 at select VA facilities in the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas, marking the beginning of a transformation in how VA delivers care to Veterans.
More than 24,000 Veterans receiving primary care at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Spokane, Washington, will benefit from VA’s first full implementation of the new software, which provides VA health care staff with a modern EHR that is interoperable with the Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Coast Guard and community care partners.
“This milestone is the result of 27 months of planning, collaboration and steadfast work by our Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) team, the Cerner team, leaders and staff across VA and our partners within DOD,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This is an historic step toward creating a seamless health care experience for Veterans, from the time they enter the military through their care at VA.”
The new system puts VA and DOD on a single electronic health record, which improves Veterans’ health care experiences by eliminating their need to keep or carry paper records detailing care received from either department. Care providers from both departments will be able to view, update and securely exchange patient data in the new system, which also enables increased information sharing with providers in the communities where Veterans live and receive care.
In addition to the launch at the Mann-Grandstaff VAMC and its four community-based outpatient clinics located in Wenatchee, Washington; Libby, Montana; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Sandpoint, Idaho. VA also began using the new system at the West Consolidated Patient Account Center, the VA business operations facility in Las Vegas that supports billing for the Pacific Northwest.
The new EHR system complements VA’s longstanding health record system, Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, also known as VistA, and Computerized Patient Record System at these sites. The EHRM program will continue rolling out the new software until it is in place nationwide at all VA facilities by 2028.