Atriax Takes Part in Nationwide Program by the Dept of Veterans Affairs

The VA is responsible for launching a new electronic health record (EHR) system – the software that stores health information and tracks all aspects of patient care under the electronic health record modernization (EHRM) program.
The Program spans a 10-year period from 2018 to 2028 and connects VA medical facilities with the Department of Defense, the U.S. Coast Guard and participating community care providers. This ERH allows clinicians to easily access a Veteran’s full medical history in one location to support clinical decision-making and improve the 9 million Veterans who received healthcare from the VA.
Each VA medical center is required to upgrade its physical infrastructure in order to properly support the EHRM system. The Atriax team supports this effort by providing architectural; civil, structural, and electrical engineering, physical security, telecom, cost estimating and environmental services. Atriax’ holds contracts with: Columbia, SC; Tuscaloosa, AL; Dublin, GA; Poplar Bluff, MO; and Kansas City, MO VAMCs.
Working with our trusted specialty teaming consultants, Atriax is providing comprehensive infrastructure improvements in multiple buildings on several VA facility campuses to meet facility requirements for EHR deployment. The EHRM program team performs detailed site assessments and investigations, with a keen-eye towards physical security upgrades, the preparation of cost estimates, and other unique elements for the VAMC EHR. In some VAMCs, this massive design undertaking includes renovating and modifying telecom rooms on every floor of 25 buildings at each site. Some campuses have nearly 2-miles of underground cabling duct banks and require detailed coordination with our civil engineers. Each project includes comprehensive phasing recommendations to minimize the project impact at an operational VAMC. To accomplish this, at the onset we establish a seamless communication protocol proven to be the baseline for quality, excellence, and continuity required for the EHRM effort.

“Synchronizing the many involved skill sets to meet aggressive VA timelines and design standards has been a challenge. Atriax has always been a learning organization and through our experience we have become an efficient and effective EHRM design team.” – Stephen Collar, PMP, Atriax VA EHRM Project Manager

Knowing the EHRM is the largest government transformation effort ever undertaken. Ambitious projects often come with unique challenges but allow for creative solutions. Creating a core EHRM team of Atriax’ EHRM Program Team incorporates lessons learned into our AMPP which incorporates program-based quality process and our custom pre-proposal site visit checklist, which helps us to capture the unique features of the specific EHRM site subject matter experts (SME), our SMEs continue to refine the EHRM project management process. What manner did we adapt/pivot to this program using our existing experience? Atriax recognized we needed program managers, so we hired Stephen Collar, PMP and Mike McCourt. Both are veterans and have extensive program management backgrounds providing leadership for complex and unique projects. EHRM is also part of the reason we expanded our civil engineering department. Building upon our similar experience, such as the Salisbury VAMC high voltage duct bank project definitely helped with the expertise needed to support the telecom cabling duct banks necessary for the EHRM projects.
In addition to SMEs, our processes evolved to meet the ERHM program. Atriax’ management and process playbook (AMPP) incorporate such features as our program-based quality process and our custom pre-proposal site visit checklist, which helps us to capture the unique features of the specific EHRM site. Because we are required to field verify the drawings provided by the VA, our architects update and produce all the drawings used by the other skill sets which provides consistency. The architects are also able to visualize different options for possible buildouts of telecom rooms or removing walls in order to expand square footage to meet EHRM requirements. Much like the VA, we gather feedback with each project and add it to our library – commonly referred to as lessons learned. Each location is unique, and our most important job as the project manager is to continue to work with the VA on project-specific needs to balance and refine the scope (often through an RFP to update/expand the scope) in order to prepare the VA to accept this new age, cutting edge EHR effort.
Atriax is proud to take part in what is regarded as a one of the most complex and transformational endeavors in the Department’s history.

Atriax, PLLC is a Hickory, NC-based company that supports government and commercial clients by providing innovative solutions focused on facilities, the environment and infrastructure.
All major disciplines are represented in our ranks: engineers, architects, interior designers, and program/project managers. Our corporate headquarters is located in a craftsman-styled house in downtown Hickory with satellite offices in Dayton, OH, Jacksonville, FL, and Kansas City, MO. Our goal is to help clients take their vision of what could be and make it real.