Artificial Intelligence

Lawmakers urge VA to tread carefully with AI

The Department of Veteran Affairs’ 2023 inventory of AI use cases listed 100 instances where VA is working to use emerging technologies, with at least 40 of those examples in an operational phase.

Acquisition

VA pharmacy tech glitches put 250,000 veterans at risk, officials say

Data transmission errors in the VA's new commercial health record could potentially lead to providers missing important prescription information on patients who visit multiple agency facilities.

Cybersecurity

Contracts featuring automation, built-in security can boost agencies’ cyber defenses, VA officials say

As the federal government looks to harden its cyber resilience, officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs said agencies should work to modernize outdated technologies and ensure that vendor contracts include more rigorous security standards.

Digital Government

Vet centers need better systems, data to enhance support services

Watchdog officials warned lawmakers that the community-based counseling centers for returning veterans use a platform for identifying those at high risk of suicide that is “neither effectively nor consistently utilized.”

Artificial Intelligence

VA should establish an AI disclosure process, Republican lawmaker says

Though the Department of Veterans Affairs has already made “admirable” use of artificial intelligence, transparency “has got to be elevated to a top priority,” according to Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont.

Modernization

At VA, cloud is still emerging tech

The agency's CIO said that "cloud still has huge potential for us." 

Digital Government

VA’s compliance with accessibility requirements still lacking, watchdog says

The Department of Veterans Affairs “did not effectively manage website accessibility to ensure Section 508 compliance,” according to an audit conducted by the department’s Office of Inspector General.

Modernization

Ongoing ‘reset’ looks to put VA’s EHR deployment back on track

An agency spokesperson said VA is "committed to resuming the system rollout" but performance and productivity goals need to be hit before additional deployments are rescheduled.

Artificial Intelligence

Priming the workforce is key to future AI efforts, federal IT leaders say

One agency tech leader is urging IT workers inside government and out to "get into the shallow end of the AI swimming pool" and experiment with the new tools.

Acquisition

Veterans Affairs sheds more light on $14B transformation recompete

The department's main health care agency announces its decision on which companies will be eligible and reveals more on how teams can be structured.

Emerging Tech

VA creates new monitoring system after glitch affects more than 120,000 veterans’ claims

Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs said they’re creating a new system to notify officials “within 24 hours” of any issues affecting electronically filed claims.

Modernization

There’s a ‘big disconnect’ between users and developers of VA’s new EHR, lawmaker says

A 2023 survey of VA employees using the Oracle Cerner electronic health record system found that just 26% did not have issues with system availability.

People

VA's tech training program will soon expire — lawmakers hope to save it by year's end

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Jon Tester, D-Mont., said he is working with lawmakers to reauthorize VA’s VET-TEC pilot before the end of the year.

People

VA attributes record-breaking year to massive increases in hiring

The department will now focus on retaining those employees through various incentives and process improvements, officials say.

Modernization

VA's health record 'reset' will extend into 2024

There's one deployment of the new, multibillion dollar EHR on the books for next April and officials expect the rollouts to pick up in the summer.

People

Senate confirms deputy secretary at VA

Tanya Bradsher takes over as the top official tasked with managing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ troubled electronic health record project.

Digital Government

VA extends PACT Act filing deadline after website glitches

The Department of Veterans Affairs is giving eligible veterans an extra week to announce their intention to submit claims under a law that expands benefits for exposure to toxic substances.

Digital Government

'High volume’ of last-minute PACT Act submissions caused tech glitches, VA says

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough stressed that no veteran or survivor who received an error message “will miss out on a single day of benefits due to this issue.”

Cybersecurity

VA CIO says a zero trust ‘North Star’ is essential to secure veteran data 

VA Chief Information Officer Kurt DelBene told Nextgov/FCW that the department “faces a unique challenge” in adopting zero trust because of the need to secure veterans’ personal information.