VA, DOD Nix Plan for Joint EHR, Concentrate on Interoperability | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

VA, DOD Nix Plan for Joint EHR, Concentrate on Interoperability

February 8, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Citing a lack of time and a need to cut costs, 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.

Initially, the Department of Defense (DOD) and VA expected to fully implement the iEHR system by 2017. But, over the last few months, Panetta said in the announcement, “[we] recognized that our worry is, 'How long is it going to take to get to that goal?' And 'What is going to be the price tag to get to that goal?'  And 'How many times is it going to be delayed?'"

Instead, the new approach will aim to make a series of important changes to simplify this program, cut costs, and to get veterans the key benefits of this new system much sooner, Panetta said. “Rather than building a single integrated system from scratch, we will focus our immediate efforts on integrating VA and DOD health data as quickly as possible, by focusing on interoperability and using existing solutions.”

According to Panetta and Shinseki, the outlined plan includes:

  • Standardizing healthcare data no later than December 2013
  • Creating health data authoritative source no later than September of 2013
  • Accelerating the exchange of real-time data between VA and DOD no later than December of 2013
  • Allowing VA and DOD patients to download their medical records, (the Blue Button Initiative), no later than May of 2013
  • Upgrading the graphical user interface to display the new standardized VA and DOD healthcare data no later than December of 2013, with focus on an initial operating capability in 2014.

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



Geisinger National Precision Health Hires Illumina Exec to Lead Business Development

Integrated health system Geisinger has hired a high-profile genetic counselor to head up business development for Geisinger National Precision Health, which was created to extend the Geisinger model on the national scene.

$30M VC Fund Launched to Spur Innovation in Cardiovascular Care

The American Heart Association, together with Philips and UPMC, has announced the launch of Cardeation Capital, a $30 million collaborative venture capital fund designed to spur healthcare innovation in heart disease and stroke care.

Epic Wins Labor Dispute in Closely Divided Supreme Court Decision

Epic Systems Corporation won a major labor-law ruling in the Supreme Court on Monday, centering around the extent of corporations’ right to force employees to sign arbitration agreements, and with a 5-4 ruling in its favor

Survey: Two-Thirds of Physician Practices Seeking Out Value-Based Care Consulting Firms

Most physician organizations are not prepared for the move to value-based care, and 95 percent CIOs of group practices and large clinics state they do not have the information technology or staff in-house needed to transform value-based care end-to-end, according to a recent Black Book Market Research.

Cumberland Consulting Buys LinkEHR, Provider of Epic Help Desk Services

Cumberland Consulting Group, a healthcare consulting and services firm, has acquired LinkEHR, which provides remote application support, including Epic help desk services.

Population Health Tool that Provides City-Level Data Expands to 500 Cities

A data visualization tool that helps city officials understand the health status of their population, called the City Health Dashboard, has now expanded to 500 of the largest cities in the U.S., enabling local leaders to identify and take action around the most pressing health needs in their cities and communities.