Home Healthcare Indian Well being Service IT Exec Describes Plans for EHR Transition

Indian Well being Service IT Exec Describes Plans for EHR Transition

Indian Well being Service IT Exec Describes Plans for EHR Transition


Jeanette Kompkoff serves because the director of the Division of Well being Data Know-how Modernization and Operations (DHITMO) on the Indian Well being Service (IHS). In a latest interview, carried out through e-mail, with Healthcare Innovation, she detailed IHS’ lately introduced plans to transition from a home-grown EHR to Oracle Cerner. 

The IHS, an company within the U.S. Division of Well being & Human Companies, gives well being companies for roughly 2.8 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally acknowledged tribes in 37 states. 

DHITMO, which was established to supervise the Well being IT Modernization Program, sits inside the IHS Workplace of Data Know-how. Because the DHITMO director, Kompkoff gives oversight and administration of the enterprise digital well being document (EHR) system and its upkeep. She additionally manages the acquisition exercise for quite a few well being IT companies and merchandise that complement the EHR funding and oversees a crew of greater than 80 federal and contract IT personnel who assist this system’s efforts. 
Kompkoff joined the IHS in 1988 and brings almost 35 years of well being IT implementation experience to the IHS Well being IT Modernization Program. Throughout this time, she created infrastructure necessities, led a number of software program growth initiatives, managed multimillion-dollar IT contracts, and led nationwide groups to implement and handle giant and sophisticated IT investments, together with the IT modernization effort.
Healthcare Innovation: Are you able to clarify a number of the the explanation why the IHS is working to exchange the Useful resource and Affected person Administration System (RPMS) with a business enterprise well being IT suite?

Kompkoff: Implementation of recent expertise is important for IHS to boost the person expertise for sufferers and suppliers, centralize the system for fast, responsive assist from expertise consultants nationwide, and bolster catastrophe restoration and continuity of care. This modernization goals to reduce system disruptions and streamline entry to affected person information throughout services, granting sufferers better management over their care and offering suppliers with a complete care overview. By transitioning from the RPMS to a business enterprise well being IT suite, IHS is addressing these important wants, laying the groundwork for improved well being care supply and operational effectivity.

In listening classes that mentioned findings of the 2018 evaluation of the present state of the company well being IT system, 60 p.c of the Tribal and City Indian Group (UIO) companions had been in settlement that full alternative of RPMS is probably the most applicable and practical modernization answer. In a complete research carried out by the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) between 2018 and 2019, deficiencies within the RPMS expertise used throughout IHS, Tribal and City medical services got here to mild, leading to a powerful advice to exchange the system. Highlighted by two important experiences from the HHS Workplace of Inspector Normal, these shortcomings referred to as for quick motion. Compounding the problem, the approaching alternative of the U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs’ VistA system, upon which the IHS has dependencies, underscores the urgency for IHS to transition to a business enterprise well being IT suite, guaranteeing the continued supply of top-tier well being companies. 

HCI: May you give a timeline of what has been carried out thus far when it comes to planning and interesting with stakeholders — and what the following steps are? For example, has an RFP course of began? 
Kompkoff: Throughout the Well being IT Modernization Program, the IHS seeks methods to actively share updates with, take heed to, and acquire inputs from companions to construct the enterprise EHR answer. IHS needs a partnership within the journey to construct the enterprise EHR answer utilizing governance frameworks that promote collaboration.   
One of many central rules of the IHS Well being IT Modernization is to construct and function the enterprise EHR answer with our companions, not for them. The Enterprise Collaboration Group will function a discussion board for companions to supply enter relating to the configurations and workflows that the enterprise EHR answer gives. Further alternatives for enter might be accessible via focus teams, with preliminary matters targeted on interoperability, implementation, information administration and analytics.
HCI: What sort of appropriations have there been thus far for this mission? Is there a projected general price and timeline?  
The IHS Well being IT Modernization Program is a complete, multi-year initiative geared toward updating well being IT methods throughout IHS, Tribal, and City Indian well being care packages, following a transparent timeline from analysis and planning levels in 2018 to 2021, to purchasing and constructing in 2022 to 2024, and at last coaching, growing, and working from 2025 onwards. Financially, the mission has a Life Cycle-Price Estimate starting from $4.5 to $6.2 billion to be expended all through a 10-year interval, accounting for the required infrastructure to assist an enterprise EHR answer. The Fiscal Yr 2024 President’s Price range Request features a request for $913 million for the initiative, with an extra $1.1 billion per 12 months to be requested for FY2025 via FY2029, totaling $5.5 billion over 5 years to supply secure funding to assist the deliberate length. Every funds request is topic to annual congressional approval.  
HCI: The Army Well being System and VA are within the means of upgrading to a brand new enterprise system from Oracle Cerner. Are there interoperability benefits for IHS to be on the identical system because the army and VA?

Kompkoff: In November 2023, the Indian Well being Service introduced that Normal Dynamics Data Know-how, Inc. will construct, configure, and keep the enterprise digital well being document answer utilizing Oracle Cerner expertise. The enterprise EHR answer might be shared by each federal and non-federal companions and prioritizes Tribal sovereignty and our collective mission of bettering the well being standing of American Indian and Alaska Native individuals. 

Whereas the VA and DoD efforts and the IHS Well being IT Modernization Program will each use Oracle Cerner expertise, each occasion of an EHR construct is completely different. The IHS enterprise EHR answer might be a special product than the VA and DOD merchandise and it will likely be applied in a different way. IHS has had profitable implementations of comparable merchandise all through Indian Nation and we’ve the benefit of gaining classes discovered from our federal, Tribal and City companions and can construct the system with our customers. Interoperability might be supported utilizing licensed expertise between VA, DOD and business companions.

HCI: What are some parts of the IT governance method that DHITMO is taking with this mission?
Kompkoff: IHS is proactively establishing a collaborative governance construction to information the event of an enterprise EHR answer. The Govt Steering Committee will handle federal features, guaranteeing alignment with our targets. The federally led Enterprise Collaboration Group, supported by IHS informatics, gives suggestions for the enterprise EHR answer’s design and configuration. This complete governance method, spearheaded by the DHITMO, underscores our dedication to a collaborative and efficient growth course of for the enterprise EHR answer. 
HCI: What do you foresee as probably the most difficult facet of the transition?
Kompkoff: The transition to an enterprise EHR answer is complicated. We anticipate probably the most difficult facet to be guaranteeing a easy information migration, aiming to forestall information points resembling information loss, misinterpretation, or mis-mapping fields. To reduce downtime and keep productiveness, we plan to conduct sturdy testing at services previous to go-live. To make sure websites have the right infrastructure, employees, and workflows earlier than implementing the answer, we’re actively incorporating suggestions from our companions throughout Indian Nation. Clear communication and robust management are essential to navigate this transition, stopping misunderstandings and errors, guaranteeing a profitable implementation that aligns with our mission, and serves our sufferers and suppliers effectively. 
HCI: Are there many points associated to information migration from legacy methods? 
Kompkoff: IHS is proactively addressing a number of points associated to information migration from legacy methods to make sure seamless entry to finish data for each sufferers and suppliers within the enterprise EHR answer. Key challenges embrace stopping information loss, avoiding misinterpretation of data, and guaranteeing correct mapping of information fields between the previous and new methods.
HCI: Are some clinics within the system already utilizing another kind of EHR reasonably than RPMS?  And in that case, will they be allowed to remain on these reasonably than switching to the brand new system?
Kompkoff: All federally acknowledged Tribal nations and City Indian packages that function their very own EHR can decide into the brand new system at any time or proceed to make use of a system of their alternative. If a Tribal or City program is presently utilizing RPMS, they might want to both undertake the IHS chosen enterprise EHR answer or pursue a special system of their alternative.  All IHS-operated services could have RPMS changed with the chosen IHS enterprise EHR answer.
HCI: I learn that the proposed structure entails establishing a brand new database – “4 Instructions Warehouse (4DW)” – in a federal cloud setting. Are you able to describe briefly what 4 Instructions will contain?

Kompkoff: 4 Instructions Warehouse is ready to be a central repository in a federal cloud setting, with long-term storage options for complete RPMS information archive and capabilities to include information from a number of EHR options. It permits seamless entry to medical information for each sufferers and suppliers throughout varied services, boosting visibility into affected person care wants. 

The system facilitates the usage of legacy data with out the necessity for loading the total historical past of affected person healthcare information into the enterprise EHR, and it requires no upkeep of RPMS methods. With sturdy safety controls and a complete information analytics setting, 4DW ensures the safety of affected person information on the IHS-managed platform, streamlining the transition to trendy healthcare options whereas laying the groundwork for superior affected person care optimization. 



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