The DOD Military Health System is working to determine what is best for AHLTA and the VA’s VistA electronic health record system. Currently, there is a strong feeling that the best approach would be for the two systems to converge. Questions arose at the AHLTA web hall held in June with the Defense Department responding to inquiries.
Some of the questions and answers were:
- When will AHLTA 3.3 rollout? The new AHLTA 3.3 application is currently in field beta testing. The goal is to have 3.3 deployed to all sites by the end of 2008. A site by site specific schedule will be developed between the Program Office and the Services and released once the software is available
- What causes the demographic inconsistencies across CHCS and AHLTA? AHLTA pulls the data from DEERS while CHCS allows for individual local input, which may cause discrepancies. The MHS plans to replace or modernize legacy systems to help to address these issues
- For duplicate patient records, how can one unique SSN possess more than one record? The DOD system has family members sharing the sponsor’s SSN for benefits. CHCS uses the sponsor’s SSN therefore it is not a unique identifier. AHLTA has developed a unique identifier that will be used across the board when legacy systems are modernized or replaced
- Is there a way to arrange clinical notes by time as well as by date and can specialties be added to the list of entries for clinical notes? The current AHLTA application arranges clinical notes by date but does not arrange clinical notes by time or allow specialties to be added to the list of entries for clinical notes. This is under discussion for the AHLTA release after AHLTA 3.3.
- How are mental health records being protected against unauthorized access? Currently, these notes are being marked as sensitive and in order for users to gain access they must “break the glass” and are subject to auditing.
- Why is AHLTA so slow? DHIMS is working to improve the speed, reliability, and usability issues and will address those issues in AHLTA 3.3. Work is ongoing to standardize desktops, add additional memory and processing, optimize workflow, reduce the amount of clicks, optimize queries to the database, and work with local base operations on network issues.
For more information and to see the entire list of questions and answers, go to www.health.mil/Press/Releease.aspx?ID=284.