After 3 years, DOD's EHR modernization with Cerner hits 30% completion

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The Department of Defense's EHR modernization program with Cerner is 30 percent complete, according to a June 13 article by Federal Computer Week.

Holly Joers, acting program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, said the last EHR rollout, which was completed April 24, marked 30 percent completion at military treatment facilities, according to a June 10 press call.

The April rollout was the largest to date and launched the new system at 11 states and 20 military medical facilities. It added 10,000 active users to the program, bringing the total to 42,000 active users nationwide.

Ms. Joers said the progress confirms the DOD is on schedule to wrap up the Cerner EHR rollout at the end of 2023. The next deployment will be at Honolulu-based Tripler Army Medical Center in September.

As the number of users affected in the deployments increases, synchronizing and standardizing gets more difficult, she said, especially at joint facilities such as the DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in North Chicago, Ill.

Major General Ned Appenzeller, assistant director for combat support at the Defense Health Agency, said, "The standardization of workflows and processes across the enterprise is actually one of the most important things about this system, but the most critical piece of that is because of that standardization, because it's done the same way everywhere, because it is so demonstrable … safety has improved."

Mr. Appenzeller said each deployment has become "less drastic," but there is always room for learning and improvement.

The DOD and VA finalized their contract with Cerner for the EHR rollout in May 2018. 

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