Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Veterans Affairs shifting records to new system

Veterans Affairs secretary announces new electronic health record system VA to use same electronic health record system as military
Rickey Rodriguez | 07 June, 2017, 04:57

Shulkin said the choice to move forward with the next-generation system was a commitment he made since the president selected him for his position as VA secretary, adding that the current VistA system has always been in need of major modernization to stay up to date with improvements in IT and cybersecurity.

Congressman Roger Williams (R - Austin), who represents Fort Hood, one of the largest United States military installations in the world, released the following statement Monday after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin announced his decision to overhaul the VA electronic medical system to make it compatible with the Department of Defense (DoD).

Trump tweeted Monday that it would be a "big day", offering thanks to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

The benefits of having a single system are that it will "allow all patient data to reside in a common system so you will have this seamless link between the departments without the manual or electronic exchange of information", he said.

"Without improved and consistently implemented national interoperability standards, VA and DoD will continue to face significant challenges if the Departments remain on two different systems".

For all the critical similarities in their patient populations and clinical imperatives, "VA has unique needs that are different from the Department of Defense's", said Shulkin. "And, because of that, we're making a decision to move towards a commercial off-the-shelf product".

Speaking at the White House, Trump hailed the VA announcement, saying that in the past "it has taken not just days or weeks but many months for the records to follow the veteran".

A pilot project on the veterans medical appointment software is underway, with results expected in 18 months, a Veterans Health Administration official told a Congressional committee in February, according to an article on the Healthcare Informatics website. It's an effort touted by President Donald Trump to hold the VA accountable after years of problems. The agency had also considered updating its own internally developed records system, known as Vista, and did not seek outside bids. Shulkin expressed optimism that the move would gain the needed support.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

One of the major reasons behind the decision, Shulkin said, was that Congress has been encouraging the VA and the Department of Defense to work closely on EHR issues and interoperability.

In his announcement, Skulkin made no reference to the dollar value of the contract with Cerner. "MHS Genesis with the DoD and MHS Genesis with the VA should be the same substantiation". VA provides health care services to 27 million veterans.

"These men and women are veterans have sacrificed much for our country and it is our duty to take care of them when they come home", he said. "I'm very proud to say that we are finally taking steps to solve this situation once and for all".

"Vista is going to have to exist side by side with the new record in my estimation for 10 years".

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