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Federal EHR Patient Safety Outperforms Legacy, Per Industry Standards

Image of U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Iannicello, 8th Health Care Operations Squadron, pharmacy noncommissioned officer in charge, prepares to issue medication to a patient at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, on Oct. 13, 2022. (Credit: Senior Airman Shannon Braaten 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs). U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Iannicello, 8th Health Care Operations Squadron, pharmacy noncommissioned officer in charge, prepares to issue medication to a patient at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, on Oct. 13, 2022. (Credit: Senior Airman Shannon Braaten 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

An annual Leapfrog evaluation showed the Department of Defense’s new electronic heath record, known as MHS GENESIS, outperformed legacy systems on safe medication ordering.

As part of the Leapfrog Group Hospital Survey, the DOD added participation in the Computerized Provider Order Entry evaluation process in 2022. This industry standard tool uses randomized scenarios to assess the performance of the federal EHR patient medication ordering decision support tools. The evaluation helps providers at military hospitals and clinics identify strategies to improve safe medication ordering and enhance patient safety.

Through results of this survey, the federal EHR demonstrated that its clinical decision support tools improve medication and patient safety. The federal EHR rates a 3.36 out of 4.0 for safe medication ordering. Clinical decision support tools are computer-based programs that provide evidence-based prompts/reminders to help caregivers improve the quality/safety of care.

“The survey results show that the federal EHR supports enhanced patient safety,” said Bill Tinston, director of the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization office. “The separate, legacy EHR systems are outdated and unable to create a seamless care experience as provided by the federal EHR. There is recognition that the federal EHR saves providers time and enables more standard workflows to support enhanced clinical decision-making and patient safety.”

Within a year of participating in the industry standard Leapfrog Group Hospital Survey, the Defense Health Agency Leapfrog Program Team, DHA Health Informatics, and Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization Program Management Office Baseline Clinical Informatics team developed a process for DOD Leapfrog CPOE testing and support. Together, they streamlined the workflow testing process, saving frontline clinicians and administrative teams countless hours—allowing them to stay focused on their mission of patient care.

The inclusion of DHMSM PMO and DHA-HI with the DHA Leapfrog Team allows for rapid identification and remediation of CPOE testing challenges.

In addition, this collaboration will allow efficient identification of other changes that may be needed to enhance patient care. Through the FEHRM’s Joint Sustainment and Adoption Board, changes are jointly approved. This allows all federal EHR participants to take advantage of these new capabilities.

“These capabilities demonstrate how the federal EHR allows for agile improvements that support patients and providers,” said Tinston. “The FEHRM and its partners continue to deliver common capabilities that evolve the federal EHR and respond to the needs of the departments and our patients and providers.”

The FEHRM, along with DOD, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Coast Guard, and Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are implementing a single, common federal EHR together. As of February 2023, there are more than 150,000 DOD, VA and USCG doctors, nurses, and other health care providers using the EHR. They account for 75% of all hospitals and clinics across DOD, five VA Medical Centers, and 109 USCG sites. More than 6.1 million unique patients are now able to engage with their new federal EHR system.

“With a vision for federal organizations to share a single, common federal EHR and meaningfully exchange and use data with participating provider organizations, patients benefi­t from a continuity of care that spans across health care systems,” said Tinston.

To learn more about the federal EHR, visit www.FEHRM.gov.

To learn more about MHS GENESIS, visit: www.Health.mil.

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