Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Goals for EHR System

The goals for the electronic health record are simple according to Charles Campbell, Chief Information Officer for the Military Health System in an interview appearing in the Defense Health Information Management System newsletter “The Beat”. He wants to see the EHR system stabilized, made more reliable, become more user-friendly, and operate faster.

In looking at the goals for AHLTA and the Military Health System (MHS), he is focusing on the 48 month “EHR Way Ahead Plan” to help modernize the EHR system. Plans are to move the current enterprise architecture to a more flexible “plug and play” service oriented architecture to allow for the deployment of new capabilities at a much faster rate.

He wants to see modernized architecture enable the military to break capabilities into smaller pieces, thereby enabling more people and smaller companies to get involved in developing capabilities to deliver care more efficiently. He believes that more competition will create more innovation.

As Campbell sees it, in FY10, the military will begin their initial sharing of data through the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) with the VA, MHS, large commercial healthcare organizations, and TRICARE partners in the next couple of years.

Campbell’s vision for the MHS over the next three years is to have one central IT portfolio of all the products being used in the Military Treatment Facilities (MTF). The plan would create one medical network to help eliminate single points of failure and delay. By being “virtual”, the military will be able to focus on using web-based applications.

In the future, a new flexible customizable graphical user interface will be implemented so users will be able to move capabilities around on their screens to fit their individual needs. While at the same time, the underlying data will remain standardized throughout all MTFs.

Campbell realizes that most products purchased are mostly Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products and although using COTS products is effective, it often means that business practices have to be modified and the workflow often has to be adapted to the particular design of the COTS products.

He is very proud of the work on one special project called “MiCare”, which is the Personal Health Record (PHR) initiative. A team of experts at Madigan Army Medical Center were able to make the PHR operational and the next step is to connect the PHR to the upcoming beneficiary portal.