The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently implementing a new electronic health record (EHR) system across the entire enterprise. This is challenging and requires flexibility and adaptability from the implementation team (Rizer et al., 2015). The national EHRM supplemental staffing unit (NESSU), which offers services that strengthen a facility’s productivity mitigation plan during the pre- and post-go-live phases of deployment, was developed to provide clinical and administrative support to sites during the national rollout. The NESSU is comprised of knowledge and experience from multiple deployments across the enterprise, with interdisciplinary divisions including primary care providers, nursing (inpatient onsite and outpatient virtual), behavioral health, pharmacy, and scheduling. The outpatient nursing team is comprised of 18 nurses who were selected based on their significant primary care experience, contributions, and expertise. These nurses are adaptable, flexible, and dedicated to the delivery of safe, quality healthcare for veterans. They provide 100% virtual surge support to deliver high-quality care to veterans utilizing both telephone and video telehealth modalities.
Within the first six months, the virtual outpatient nursing team completed more than 26,000 encounters with veterans and entered nearly 16,000 orders in the EHR at four VA facilities. Two NESSU outpatient nursing subject matter experts provided over 600 hours of EHR education and peer support to onsite nursing staff via group meetings, 1:1 sessions, and a go-live chat as part of the NESSU peer support program. A nurse manager support group was established to build a stronger community of practice for pre- and post-go-live sites. This poster will demonstrate the NESSU outpatient nursing team’s role and recent contributions to the nationwide implementation of VA’s new EHR.
Reference: Rizer, M., Kaufman, B., Sieck, C., Hefner, J., & McAlearney, A. (2015). Top 10 Lessons Learned from Electronic Medical Record Implementation in a Large Academic Medical Center. Perspect Health Inf Management. Jul 1;12. pp.1-9.