VA, DOD establish office to lead EHR implementations

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The Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense will form a joint office to lead implementation of the agencies' Cerner-based EHRs as well as interoperability between the systems, Federal Times reports.

The Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization Program Office will oversee roll out for the systems and act as the deciding authority on future EHR decisions.

"FEHRM leaders will have the authority to direct each department to execute joint decisions for technical, programmatic and functional functions under its purview and will provide oversight regarding required funding and policy as necessary," Lauren Thompson, director of the DoD and VA's Interagency Program Office, said at a June 12 House Veterans Affairs committee hearing, according to the report.

The VA and DOD still need to appoint an interim FEHRM director and deputy director to oversee the EHR implementations before getting a charter approved and then hiring permanent FEHRM leadership. Both agencies are expected to present members of Congress with a more detailed plan for the FEHRM roll out in the next few weeks, Federal Times reports.

The DOD is scheduled to go live on its EHR system in September, while the VA plans to go live on its EHR at initial operating sites in March 2020, according to the report.

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