What Is the FEHRM?
The Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) office works within the federal space to implement a single, common federal electronic health record (EHR) that enhances patient care and provider effectiveness. An EHR is software that's used to securely document, store, retrieve, share and analyze information about patient care. It enables a digital version of a patient record. The federal EHR helps health care systems within the federal space and beyond effectively delivery health care and benefits by bringing a common record to patients and providers. There is recognition across the board that the federal EHR saves providers time and enables more standardized workflows to support enhanced clinical decision-making and patient safety.
The FEHRM unites efforts and delivers common capabilities that enable the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other federal agencies to deploy the federal EHR. As of today, there are more than 194,000 DOD, VA, USCG and NOAA federal EHR users—such as doctors and nurses—at 135 parent military treatment facilities, five VA medical centers, 109 USCG sites and seven NOAA sites. More than 9.5 million unique patients are in the federal EHR system.
The common capabilities the FEHRM delivers in support of the federal EHR refer to common solutions, tools and activities needed to effectively implement the federal EHR and ensure meaningful data sharing between the federal EHR and community providers. Common capabilities include the following:
- Managing the Federal Enclave, which is a shared environment to contain the federal EHR and supporting systems
- Managing the joint health information exchange (HIE), an enhanced network of community providers who agree to quickly and securely share patient electronic health information with federal EHR users and vice versa
- Leading analysis and integration of deployment activities at joint sharing sites where DOD and VA resources are shared
- Overseeing configuration and content changes to the EHR that are agreed on by the Departments through a joint decision-making process facilitated by the FEHRM
- Providing software upgrades and solutions to optimize EHR performance
- Tracking joint risks, issues and opportunities as well as lessons learned regarding EHR implementation to inform continuous improvement
- Maintaining an integrated master schedule to help coordinate EHR activities
- Advancing interoperability, which refers to the meaningful use and exchange of data, including working closely with the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and national standards organizations to improve the continuity of care among and between public- and private-sector providers
These capabilities are helping drive federal solutions to support effective health care delivery within the federal space that puts patients in the center. The FEHRM is providing health care providers with information technology they don’t need to think about, bringing the right data about the right patient for the right encounter to enhance decision-making. The FEHRM also enables adaptability and transformation of the federal health space to support the dynamic delivery of care, including advancing virtual health technologies to extend care access.
The federal EHR along with the joint HIE enables comprehensive patient data, whether recorded by a federal health care provider or participating community partner, to be readily available wherever care is provided. The subsequent data now available is making more innovation in health care possible so beneficiaries can get the best health care as soon as possible. The data we gained from the federal EHR and joint HIE helps enable more standard workflows and practices to successfully enhance clinical decision-making and health care. The data helps drive successful business decisions, inform population health initiatives and improve patient outcomes through health care innovations.
From the joint HIE to optimizing the single, common federal EHR, every day the FEHRM supports delivery of common capabilities to clinicians on the front lines to provide the best care for their patients.
See the other sections listed in the left-side navigation menu of this page for additional details about the FEHRM. Visit also the Frequently Asked Questions section of the FEHRM website for more information.