Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is a real busy guy, and you really don’t want to impose a deadline on him.
But, he did tell a hearing of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on April 16 that he would make a decision within 30 days on the plan for the integrated electronic health record, or iEHR, to be developed with the Veterans Affairs Department.
I can count, and that 30 days came and went last week. No decision yet, due in part, I hear, to conflicts over the basic approach to take -- adopt the VA’s Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) or go the commercial route favored by the Pentagon?
Either way, this is a big deal with billions of dollars at stake so I understand the delay. Will Congress have the same understanding?
Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.