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DOD IG Audits Efforts of VA, Pentagon to Achieve EHR Interoperability

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The Department of Defense’s office of inspector general conducted a joint audit of the efforts of DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs to achieve interoperability with regard to their electronic health record systems and found that both agencies took action by acquiring Cerner’s Millennium EHR platform and introducing the Joint Health Information Exchange.

However, VA and DOD did not take all necessary measures to achieve interoperability, such as migrating patient health care data from legacy EHR systems to Cerner Millennium to create a single patient EHR and developing interfaces from all medical devices to the new EHR platform in order for patient health care data to automatically upload to the system from those devices, according to OIG’s report released Thursday.

According to the audit, DOD had deployed Cerner Millennium at its 49 health care facilities and VA fielded the platform at one of its facilities as of December.

The report offers several recommendations to the director of the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization Program Office.

These include determining the type of health care data that constitutes a complete EHR; developing and implementing a plan for moving legacy patient healthcare data needed for a complete EHR; and executing a plan to modify user roles under Cerner Millennium to ensure that users are given access to patient health care information needed to carry out job responsibilities.

The Pentagon plans to field Cerner Millennium at 490 health facilities by 2023, while VA intends to implement the EHR system at 1,454 health care sites by 2028, according to the report.