recommended reading

Congress to Defense and VA: Give Us a Plan for Integrating Health Records by February

Neirfy/Shutterstock.com

The Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments will need to present a detailed plan for developing a single or interoperable electronic health record in just six weeks, based on language contained in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act agreed to by the House and Senate Wednesday.

The two departments abandoned efforts to develop a single EHR in February when the  estimated costs of a system reached $28 billion. The 2014 authorization bill emphasizes interoperability based on computable data rather than a single record.

The bill requires Defense and VA to provide Congress “with a detailed plan for the oversight and execution of the interoperable electronic health records with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record,” by Jan. 31, 2014.

The EHR should feature “an integrated display of data” and should be based on national standards to allow the exchange of data with private health care providers, the bill said.

The bill requires the leaderless Interagency Program Office to identify the national standards and develop architectural guidelines, but it also added another level of bureaucracy, requiring the office to collaborate with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Tom Munnecke, who helped develop VA’s Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architectures and advocates that Defense adopt VistA to create a single EHR for both departments, said the NDAA language adds “levels of complexity to a problem that VistA has solved for 35 years.”

The bill also requires Defense and VA to adopt the new electronic health record by 2016. In October, the Pentagon estimated that it would not be able to deploy a modernized EHR until 2017.

An industry source said the language in the 2014 NDAA supports Defense in its pursuit of its own, rather than joint record with the VA, something the House Appropriations Committee mandated in May. The issue will not be resolved until final passage of 2014 spending bills.

(Image via Neirfy/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.