ACCFS Team Makes Big Strides
As curiosity mounts about the future of the electronic health record, the Defense Health Information Management System remains steadfast in its commitment to improving AHLTA, the military's current EHR. Within DHIMS, the AHLTA/Composite Health Care System Critical Fixes and Support team works diligently to improve the current EHR by addressing existing technical and functional challenges to the legacy systems and architecture. These enhancements provide a more reliable, stable and user-friendly system, improving AHLTA's overall system performance.
In March, the CHCS Critical Fixes and Support team released CHCS Fixes Phase 1, which includes laboratory, pharmacy and identification enhancements. AHLTA lab enhancements include barcode support, safety checks with warning notifications, improved reporting and new security features. New pharmacy features include updates for inpatient order labeling, inpatient barcode label support, improved legibility of existing prescription labels and a new security key that allows providers to issue narcotics. CHCS Fixes Phase 1 also improves support for Department of Defense common access cards. These improvements not only ensure AHLTA remains secure, but they also help improve user processes and patient care.
Kimmie Caudill, technical supervisor at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center in San Antonio remarks, "Patient safety has been enhanced by indicating changes in a patient's lab results. Users have already added this feature to lab reports at Wilford Hall."
The ACCFS team is also working on new enterprise capabilities at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, a DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs joint facility. Recently, the team implemented the bidirectional orders portability function, enabling users at DOD and VA facilities to view laboratory orders and results from each other's primary care clinics. Regardless of order origination, laboratory completion and notification alerts automatically forward to each legacy system.
The orders portability laboratory serves as a key milestone towards DOD and VA health care services. This enhancement, along with the CHCS Fixes Phase 1, shows DHIMS' commitment to improving health care documentation for Service members and Veterans.
The BEAT staff writer Loren Miller contributed to this article.