The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Oct. 24 officially launched its new electronic health record (EHR) system at VA facilities in the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas.

The new system – which has been years in the making and whose launch was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic – will put VA and the Department of Defense (DoD) on a single EHR system and eliminate the need to keep or carry paper records. The single system will allow healthcare providers at VA and DoD to view, update, and securely exchange patient data.

“This milestone is the result of 27 months of planning, collaboration and steadfast work by our Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) team, the Cerner team, leaders and staff across VA and our partners within DOD,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “This is an historic step toward creating a seamless health care experience for Veterans, from the time they enter the military through their care at VA.”

Ahead of the EHR launch, VA earlier this month managed to transfer patient data for roughly 88,000 veterans to the new solution. The EHRM program expects to continue rolling out new software until the system is in place nationwide at all VA facilities by 2028.

“Giving our VA clinicians quick, secure access to patient data means we are making progress to improve Veteran safety and health outcomes,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said earlier this month.

The new EHR system is now active at VA’s Mann-Grandstaff medical center in Washington state, four community-based outpatient clinics in Washington, Montana, and Idaho, and the agency’s West Consolidated Patient Account Center in Las Vegas that supports bill for VA’s Pacific Northwest operations.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.