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NOAA to Join EHR Collaboration Next Year

NOAA joins the Coast Guard, DOD and VA to provide a seamless, interoperable health care experience.

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NOAA to Join EHR Collaboration Next Year
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will join the federal EHR led by the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Office in summer 2023, a FEHRM spokesperson told GovCIO Media & Research.

NOAA will join the Defense Department, Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Coast Guard to facilitate greater data interoperability for a seamless health care experience.

VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office Deputy Chief Information Officer Laura Prietula announced NOAA as the next agency to join the federal EHR during an FCW event on Oct. 25.

“It’s not interoperable information that we’re shipping left and right to each one of the agencies. Really, it is a common repository of information across agencies,” Prietula said at the Oct. 25 event. “This joint electronic health record system… will enable us to provide integrated care and services.”

NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations will use the federal EHR to manage the agency’s Commissioned Officer Corps records.

“The system meets the security requirements for NOAA uniformed service members’ health records and integrates with the medical care system used by all uniformed service officers. The EHR represents a leap from paper charting and secure-faxing for communicating between NOAA’s medical programs,” a NOAA spokesperson told GovCIO Media & Research.

Since the beginning of the year, DOD deployed the federal EHR to eight waves spanning 45 military hospital and clinic commands and the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, which added approximately 62,000 users to the EHR, a FEHRM spokesperson explained.

DOD also deployed its revenue cycle expansion (RevX) capability in November 2022 to 47 military hospital and clinic commands that already had the federal EHR, spanning Fairchild and Madigan from Initial Operational Capability sites and all of Waves Nellis, Travis, Pendleton, San Diego, Tripler and Carson/Carson+. RevX integrates patient accounting, medical coding, and patient registration/access capabilities together in the EHR.

Release Manager for VA’s EHRM Integration Office Linda Ennis explained how the agency is building security into the federal EHR system. VA is templatizing a process for connecting individual sites with the EHR system to allow information to be securely and automatically connected to the broader enterprise.

“You need to troubleshoot the system in order to mitigate risk. EHR software is complex and far reaching. So be prepared to engage in troubleshooting and review,” Ennis said at the August 2022 GovCIO Media & Research Disruptive DevSecOps virtual event.

As of Nov. 18, there are more than 137,000 DOD, VA and Coast Guard federal EHR users at 92 military hospital and clinic commands, 5 VA Medical Centers and 109 Coast Guard sites, and more than 5.6 million patients are in the EHR system, a FEHRM spokesperson told GovCIO Media & Research.

“The federal EHR enables a continuity of care that tremendously benefits patients and the providers who care for them,” FEHRM’s Director Bill Tinston told GovCIO Media & Research. “We are thrilled to have NOAA join the single, common federal EHR.”

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