DOD, VA Criticized by Senator on Integrated EHR Initiative | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

DOD, VA Criticized by Senator on Integrated EHR Initiative

June 14, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has recently critiqued the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for their inability to create a joint, integrated electronic health record (EHR) system.

Murray outlined her frustrations at senate budget committee hearing for the fiscal year 2014 budget request for the DOD. Speaking to Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense, she spoke harshly at the two agencies' failure to create an integrated system that would allow for communication between VA and DoD’s medical records.  

“Clearly the best option would have been a single joint electronic health record system that is open-source.  This would have been the most effective solution and would have revolutionized the market, but the Department has backed away from that goal,” Murray said during the committee meeting.

A few months ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki announced they would forgo plans to build a new health records system to be used jointly by the departments and instead pursue less expensive technologies to make their individual systems more interoperable. Recently the DOD announced it would pursue a commercial EHR instead of adopting the VA’s VistA EHR system.

Murray said that everyone on the committee was concerned that the DOD spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars – and thousands of staff hours over the last few years –trying to create an integrated IT platform, and came away with nothing.  “The lack of seamless integration between our two largest Departments is one of the most critical areas to address in order to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and ensure our service members and their families get the care they need and deserve,”  she added.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



KLAS Research: Small Hospitals’ Buying Decisions Impacting EMR Market Share

A new KLAS Research report tracks shifts in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor market share among acute care hospitals, and finds that smaller hospitals are seeking technology solutions that meet their needs and limited budgets, and these contracts are making a mark on the EMR market.

Survey: Majority of Providers Predict Success for New Generic Drug Company, Project Rx

Back in January, four health systems, in consultation with the VA, announced a collaboration to develop a new, not-for-profit generic drug company. A survey has found that 90 percent of providers say they would become customers of the new venture.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).