VA is transitioning to a new electronic health record (EHR), which is the system used by health care providers to store and track patient data. This transition began in October 2020 at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Spokane, Washington, its four associated clinics and an administrative facility that supports those sites in Las Vegas. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about VA’s new EHR system.
What is an electronic health record?
An EHR provides a digital version of a patient’s health record. VA was one of the first health care systems to implement an EHR and continues to be a leader in this area.
What is the Electronic Health Record Modernization program?
VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) program is an effort to unite VA and the Department of Defense (DOD) on a single, common and commercial EHR system. Cerner Corp. was selected as the EHR vendor. The new system is replacing VA’s current EHR solution, the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA).
What does EHRM mean for Veterans?
Modernizing VA’s EHR will improve the department’s ability to deliver care to Veterans and enhance the patient and provider experience across all facilities while changing how health data is shared between VA, DOD and participating community care providers.
Will VA and DoD share a Veteran’s record?
Yes. VA and DOD share health records in the new system. A shared system means patient information entered into the record from different doctors, pharmacies, labs and other points of care can be stored in the same place and in a format that is quickly and easily accessible by all providers. This will eliminate the need to manually transfer records when Veterans transition from active duty.
What precautions were taken to ensure VA kept Veteran data secure during data migration?
VA and Cerner used state-of-the-art and federally compliant safety measures to migrate Veteran data into the new EHR system, and VA personnel maintained constant supervision of the data throughout.
Protecting Veteran health information is a top priority for VA, and Cerner and VA have established a secure transfer process between VistA and the Cerner data center that is compliant with national cybersecurity standards.
When will EHRM impact me?
VA is rolling out its new EHR at facilities across the country over a 10-year period scheduled to end in 2028. VA will continue to maintain and support its legacy EHR systems over this period until every VA medical facility has the new EHR solution, ensuring that current patient records are accessible and there is no interruption in the delivery of quality care.