Alleviating Integrated E-Health Record Angst

Norfolk, Va., and San Antonio installations would only have initial operating capabilities.

I have heard that my story last week that the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments will install an integrated electronic health record in hospitals in Norfolk, Va., and San Antonio in 2014 -- two years ahead of schedule -- has caused some angst on both sides of the Potomac, especially at the Military Health System headquarters in the Skyline Office complex in Falls Church, Va.

VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker told a press call (which you can listen to here, courtesy of FierceGovernmentIT) that the iEHR deployment schedule was speeded up because “the secretaries … had requested we get the system up and running in two facilities in two years.”

Baker also said that the Norfolk and San Antonio installations of the iEHR would only have initial operating capabilities, and VA wants me to emphasize this point.

VA spokeswoman Jo Schuda said this would include a “baseline capability,” with a Service-Oriented Architecture-based supporting infrastructure (which I would not leave home without), as well as lab and immunization systems.

Schuda, in a clarification of Baker’s remarks, said that Norfolk and San Antonio are “under consideration” as the first locations for the iEHR.

I’m honored to do my bit, even in a small way, to reduce anxiety in the angst-ridden Washington area.