NOAA planning to join DOD’s electronic health record system
A spokesperson for the office overseeing the rollout of the Oracle Cerner electronic health record system said that NOAA’s deployment of the software is “targeted for summer 2023.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is planning to adopt the Defense Department’s electronic health record system—known as the Military Health System Genesis—as soon as next summer, according to the federal office overseeing agency implementation of the Oracle Cerner software.
The move was first announced by Laura Prietula, the deputy chief information officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office, who said during an Oct. 25 FCW event that the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization office—or FEHRM—was “working with NOAA” to have them join the integrated Oracle Cerner EHR platform.
The FEHRM office is tasked with overseeing the implementation of an integrated EHR system across the VA, DOD and the U.S. Coast Guard. All three federal agencies are implementing Oracle Cerner’s EHR software to streamline access to health records from active-duty service members and veterans, although DoD and the Coast Guard are using a version known as MHS Genesis, while the VA is using one known as Millennium.
Cori Hughes, a FEHRM spokeswoman, told Nextgov that the office “coordinated efforts after a solid functional analysis to bring NOAA providers/clinicians onto the single common federal EHR currently used by VA, DOD and the U.S. Coast Guard.”
“For NOAA, our Leidos Partnership for Defense Health will implement MHS GENESIS as a standard package,” Hughes added.
Although NOAA has approximately 12,000 employees across the U.S., it also maintains a Commissioned Officer Corps that includes officers who “operate NOAA's ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving operations and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.”
NOAA spokeswoman Kate Silverstein told Nextgov that the agency’s “Office of Marine and Aviation Operations will use the Department of Defense's MHS Genesis electronic health records system to manage records for the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps.”
“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,” Silverstein added.
While NOAA said that “no timeline for implementation is available at this stage,” FEHRM said that “NOAA’s deployment is targeted for summer 2023.”
Both EHR systems—MHS Genesis and Millennium—were developed and maintained by Cerner, which was acquired by Oracle in June. DOD began working on the MHS Genesis platform in 2015, and the Coast Guard announced in 2018 that it would be joining the DOD’s EHR system. The VA signed a 10-year, $10 billion contract with Cerner in 2018 to develop its own EHR system that would be integrated with MHS Genesis.
DOD announced last Thursday that it has deployed MHS Genesis to “more than half of all [military health system] providers,” and plans to have the EHR system “deployed to 138 military hospital and clinic commands worldwide” by the end of 2023.
The VA, meanwhile, has faced significant delays in the rollout of its Millennium EHR system, which has been deployed at five medical facilities since 2020. The department announced earlier this month that it was extending the delay in the rollout of its EHR system until June 2023 to address ongoing technical and performance issues with the system. The Oct. 13 announcement came after the VA in July postponed the rest of its planned 2022 deployments until early next year to address patient care concerns, system outages and performance issues hampering the EHR system’s rollout.