VA Improving EHRM Data Standardization for Clinician Needs

After a GAO report revealed data quality concerns earlier this month, VA has made “significant improvements” to its EHRM data standardization processes, an official said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has completed most of the data standardization needed for its EHR Modernization (EHRM) effort, according to reporting from FedScoop.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report earlier this month that revealed clinicians had experienced challenges with the quality of migrated data from VA’s legacy VistA EHR to the new Cerner Millennium and HealtheIntent systems.

On Thursday, Laura Prietula, acting deputy chief information officer for the VA EHRM, said that uniformly transferring veteran EHR data to the platforms has required the EHRM Integration Office to make “significant improvements” to its processes.

“We’ve learned a lot around the lack of standardization,” Prietula said during AFCEA Bethesda‘s 14th annual health IT event. “And it may not just be because of the data models themselves, but also some processes that we need to change or policies.”

She noted that the EHRM Integration Office continues to curate data through its Vx130 platform, which migrates data from VA’s legacy VistA EHR to the new systems. Additionally, Prietula said the office is improving data entry practices to ensure the system migrates legacy data completely.

The GAO report also revealed that VA did not fully address data reporting needs for all relevant stakeholders. Prietula said the EHRM Integration Office is partnering more closely with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to identify and standardize the appropriate data to meet clinician needs.

“There are some categories that we’re working more directly with our VHA functional community on,” Prietula said. “We are in this journey together in making sure that the standardization is appropriate, and that [data] is securely transferred, to ensure that we can provide the clinical decision support insights that the clinical community truly needs from us.”

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