WASHINGTON — After delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) revised its previous schedule to convert facilities to its new electronic health record (EHR) capabilities with updated timelines for deployments in August in Columbus, Ohio, and October in Spokane, Washington.
VA’s Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization (OEHRM) has reengaged with the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System in Columbus to launch a new patient-scheduling system in August and resumed activities at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Spokane, Washington, working toward an October implementation of the department’s new EHR.
The new timeline will preserve the 10-year implementation schedule and the overall cost estimates of VA’s EHR modernization program. After the conversion at these sites, VA will bring other select facilities forward in the timeline.
“After a period of delay during which VAMCs focused on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to have our Electronic Health Record Modernization team resume activities with our facilities to move forward with a program that will transform VA and enhance Veteran care,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “As we implement the new EHR solution at these facilities, we will continue to prioritize the safety of our Veterans and our staff by following guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
The department will also deploy the new EHR solution at select Midwest facilities that feature a balance of small, medium and large sites in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.
Beyond COVID-19, the VA strategy will remain flexible and agile while continuing to consider other factors that might require modifications to the order of facilities that will implement the new EHR solution.
The EHRM program will replace VA’s current Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) to store patient information and track all aspects of Veteran care. The new EHR solution will link with the Department of Defense’s health records to create a lifetime of seamless care for service members and Veterans.