DoD and VA Vow to Coordinate EHRs
Agencies commit to pursue a ‘single, seamlessly integrated electronic health record.’
The two agencies have committed to implementing an integrated electronic health record that will be interoperable with their networks of healthcare providers.
The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs have pledged to align their agencies’ respective plans to create a common Cerner electronic health record system.
Defense Secretary James Mattis and VA Secretary Robert Wilkie have signed a joint statement committing to the implementation of a “single, seamlessly integrated electronic health record that will accurately and efficiently share health data between our two agencies and ensure health record interoperability with our networks of supporting community healthcare providers.”
The pledge comes on the heels of criticism from Congress that while the VA’s planned EHR acquisition calls for aligning the deployment and implementation of its Cerner system with DoD’s ongoing rollout of its own system—called MHS GENESIS—the two agencies must do a better job of coordinating their activities to ensure interoperable systems.
“The importance, magnitude, and overall financial investment of our EHR modernization efforts demand the alignment of plans, strategies, and structure across the two departments,” according to the joint statement signed by Mattis and Wilkie. “To this end, the DoD and VA will institute an optimal organizational design that prioritizes accountability and effectiveness, while continuing to advance unity, synergy, and efficiencies between our two departments.”
To better coordinate their activities, Mattis and Wilkie have committed to developing a “more efficient overall construct and plan of execution” including: an accountability mechanism that facilitates coordinated decision making and oversight; an organizational structure that supports delivery of a single, seamlessly integrated EHR that maximizes commercial health record interoperability; and optimally coordinated clinical and business workflows, operations, data management and technology solutions. □