RD868 - Department of Health Electronic Health Records (EHR) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) – December 29, 2021

Executive Summary:

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are patient-centered record systems that bring together key information about a patient’s health to enable data-driven, comprehensive care delivery. EHR systems can be used to efficiently collect data in a format that can be shared across multiple health care organizations and leveraged for quality improvement, prevention activities, and public health reporting. The ability for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to obtain a comprehensive, interoperable EHR solution that will facilitate the collection of clinical, laboratory, billing, scheduling, and other health related information is a critical need.

This need has been further accentuated by the COVID-19 public health response. The lack of a robust and integrated technical infrastructure impacted health outcomes by leading to a higher likelihood of missed opportunities in timely public health interventions, such as testing and contact tracing. EHR systems have the potential to serve as a powerful tool to assess and improve population health outcomes through realtime reporting and data analysis. These capabilities will better enable VDH and other health partners to navigate the next pandemic.

VDH is seeking to identify a solution to replace its legacy patient demographic and billing system (WebVISION). The agency seeks to interface with existing single programmatic solutions, such as the Virginia Information Immunization System (VIIS), and serve as the main repository of information across multiple clinical services programs including women’s health, maternity, STD, HIV, TB, and immunization. This solution will offer strong data analytics for improving public health outcomes and comply with patient safety and regulatory standards, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. The goal is to deploy this capability across 120 clinic sites to serve over 250,000 patients or 400,000 clinical encounters per year.

Through the use of an EHR system and health information exchanges (HIE), VDH can leverage health information technology to efficiently collect and share data, reduce costs and improve emergency response times. Additionally, this technology will allow VDH to make timelier diagnoses of health conditions that not only improve individual health, but also impact population health across various communities in the Commonwealth.

Over the last three months, VDH has made progress in conducting a needs assessment, with considerations for business process feasibility/validation, implementation and procurement, infrastructure, and change management. These activities will continue into the beginning of 2022 and will prepare the agency to begin the vendor procurement process in 2022. These accomplishments in the first few months have set the EHR Initiative on the path to successfully implement a state-of-the-art EHR system at VDH within the planned timeframe.