Nextgov: Joint DOD-VA Medical Center Will Be Major Test for Electronic Health Record Interoperability

“The joint effort to deploy a single, interoperable electronic health record for the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments will soon get its most visible test since the program began six years ago: deploying at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, a joint facility used by both agencies.”

“The Pentagon has been working to deploy a commercial-based electronic health record system since 2015, when it signed a contract with the Leidos Partnership for Defense Health to deploy a Cerner EHR platform dubbed the Military Health System Genesis. Officials opted to deploy a commercial system in order to finally create a seamless flow of digital records between the military branches and veterans transition to the VA, which signed its own contract with Cerner in 2018.”

“Both versions of the Cerner software—which operate off the same baseline but have been configured separately to account for clinician workflows at DOD, VA and the Coast Guard—will be deployed at the Lovell Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois, in the near future, though the exact timeline is not set.”

“’The actual schedule for doing that is something we’re still working on,’ Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization Director Bill Tinston said Thursday on a call with reporters. The FEHRM Program Office coordinates rollouts at DOD, Veterans Affairs Department and Coast Guard facilities and ensures the combined system is interoperable. ‘But the FEHRM, DOD and VA are working together to make sure we bring the right solution to that location at the same time to create success there.'”

“Tinston noted the facility is unique, as DOD and VA clinicians and support staff work as a single team.”

“’There are other joint sites that we’re looking at similar things,’ he said. ‘But, without question, the most integrated facility is that facility.'”

“While DOD and VA use two versions of the Cerner platform—MHS Genesis and Cerner Millennium, respectively—Tinston said the EHR operates as one system and each patient has one record, no matter which facility they go to. That said, the two versions of the system have been configured to conform to the different workflows of DOD and VA clinicians.”

“The Lovell Health Care Center will be the first facility to merge those workflows and test the interoperability of the system…” Read the full article here.

Source: Joint DOD-VA Medical Center Will Be Major Test for Electronic Health Record Interoperability – By Aaron Boyd, June 10, 2021. Nextgov.

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