Electronic Health Records: VA's Efforts Raise Concerns about Interoperability Goals and Measures, Duplication with DOD, and Future Plans, Statement of Valerie C. Melvin, Director, Information Management and Technology Resources Issues, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 200KB]

From the Highlights: "VA [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] operates one of the nation's largest health care systems, serving millions of veterans each year. For almost two decades, the department has undertaken a patchwork of initiatives with DOD to increase interoperability between their respective electronic health record systems. During much of this time, VA has also been planning to modernize its system. While the department has made progress in these efforts, it has also faced significant information technology challenges that contributed to GAO [Government Accountability Office]'s designation of VA health care as a high risk area. This statement summarizes GAO's August 2015 report (GAO-15-530) on VA's efforts to achieve interoperability with DOD's electronic health records system. It also summarizes key content from GAO's reports on duplication, overlap, and fragmentation of federal government programs. Lastly, this statement provides updated information on VA's actions in response to GAO's recommendation calling for an interoperability and electronic health record system plan."

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