Phillip Longman

See the following -

A 40-Year 'Conspiracy' at the VA

Arthur Allen | Politico | March 19, 2017

Four decades ago, in 1977, a conspiracy began bubbling up from the basements of the vast network of hospitals belonging to the Veterans Administration. Across the country, software geeks and doctors were puzzling out how they could make medical care better with these new devices called personal computers. Working sometimes at night or in their spare time, they started to cobble together a system that helped doctors organize their prescriptions, their CAT scans and patient notes, and to share their experiences electronically to help improve care for veterans...

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A paperless NHS? Swapping best practice and ideas with the US Veteran Health Administration to make it happen

Press Release | 2020health, 3Millionlives | March 13, 2013

If the NHS is serious about going digital it should continue to build on an existing partnership with the VHA and continue to revolutionise healthcare, says the report "Making connections - A transatlantic exchange to support the adoption of digital health between the US VHA and England’s NHS" developed jointly by the VHA, 3Millionlives and published by 2020health. Read More »

Beyond the theatrics of the VA wait-list scandal

Merrill Goozner | Modern Healthcare | May 24, 2014

The spin cycle of a Washington scandal, once set in motion, is more entertaining to watch than clothes washing at the local laundromat, even though the latter is better at cleaning up a mess. Read More »

Clueless or Craven? The White House Gets the VA Story Exactly Backwards

Sad to say, the Obama administration seems clueless about what might be broken at the VA and how to fix it. Either that, or it is just cravenly saying and doing whatever it thinks is necessary to make the story go away. Evidence for the clueless hypothesis came on Friday, when White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors weighed in with his diagnosis (pdf) of what ails the VA. The document is extraordinary in its contradictions, sloppy formulations, and non-evidence-based conclusions.

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How VA Outsourcing Hurts Veterans

On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, announced that he had reached a compromise with John McCain and other Senate Republicans on how to fix whatever it is that needs fixing at the VA...the bill also contains one provision that is a significant concession to Republican enemies of government. If enacted, it would lower the quality of health care received by veterans while setting back the movement for health care delivery system reform generally.

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Joe Conn-DoD Should Make Right Decision and Adopt VistA

Joe Conn | Modern Healthcare | February 12, 2013

I think what's needed now remains as obvious as it has for decades, which means Shinseki and Panetta got it only half right, because they were half wrong. There should be one EHR for the military and the VA, but it shouldn't be the just dispatched Frankenstein's EHR that was to be built out of custom-made and off-the-shelf parts. It should be VistA. The VA has a demonstrably superior EHR system, so the Defense Department brass should swallow their bureaucratic pride and adopt it. Read More »

Just how long are those wait times at the VA really?

You probably saw headlines earlier this week like this one from CNN “Audit: More than 120,000 veterans waiting or never got care.” Sounds pretty bad, and so does the lede CNN used...Want to know what that audit actually shows? Click here (pdf), or trust me to give you the main findings and some context...

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NHS & VHA: Transatlantic Exchange of Ideas and 'Lessons Learned' on Adoption of Health IT Solutions

Britain's 2020Health.Org has just released a major report outlining how the United Kingdom can transform its healthcare system by enhancing its existing collaboration effort with the U.S. Veteran's Health Administration (VHA) and by sharing technology, knowledge and lessons learned on the effective use of Telehealth, PHR, and EHR systems. Entitled "Making connections - A transatlantic exchange to support the adoption of digital health between the US VHA and England’s NHS", the report lays out step by step how Britain's National Health Service (NHS) can create a digital revolution that can significantly enhance its ability to provide health care. Read More »

Obama and Biden Blast EHR Vendors for Data Blocking

As they are winding their terms in office, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden dropped a stink bomb on the health IT industry. Speaking at different events on Friday, January 9th, the President and Vice President both criticized proprietary electronic health record (EHR) vendors as the primary obstacle to the success of their administration’s health care strategy. This is the highest level acknowledgement so far of the serious impact that “lock-in” EHR software vendors are having on America’s medical infrastructure and the ability of physicians to provide medical care.

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The Association Of American Medical Colleges Responds To Phillip Longman’s “First Teach No Harm”

Atul Grover | Washington Monthly | July 3, 2013

The AAMC is very disappointed that Mr. Longman did not contact the AAMC for information or comment when he was writing his article. We are writing to clarify a number of important points that his article fails to reflect. Read More »

The VA Waitlist Fiasco: VistA Should Not be Thrown Out With the Bathwater

Without a doubt, the death of American veterans as a result of the VA waitlist debacle is tragic and unacceptable. The Obama administration must move quickly and deliberately to fix the underlying problems and restore faith in the agency. If these issues were common throughout the VA network of hospitals and clinics, it might make sense to consider dramatic, earth-shaking alternatives like moving veterans to private providers and shuttering the VA. But they are not common. Indeed, as Washington Monthly reporter Phillip Longman has documented, the VA’s challenges are regional, not pervasive. Read More »

VA Care: Still The Best Care Anywhere?

...[A]s the author of the title Best Care Anywhere, Why VA Health Care would be Better for Everyone, it’s been dispiriting to have it confirmed by a preliminary inspector general’s report that some frontline VA employees in Phoenix and elsewhere have been gaming a key performance metric regarding wait times. But what’s really has me enervated is how the dominant media narrative of the VA “scandal” has become so essentially misleading and damaging to the cause of health care delivery system reform...

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VA changes show the way to affordable care

Richard Hanson | Gran Forks Herald | July 7, 2012

Here’s an idea. We can reform Obamacare the same way the Veterans Health Administration reformed itself in the 1990s....Faced with censure and threat of dissolution, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responded with striking changes that earned widespread praise. By 2004, a RAND corporation study implied that VA care had become America’s best.

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VA To Invest Billions in Open Source Transition

The open source strategy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was the focus of the recent Open Source Think Tank Conference in Napa, California held April 12-14. This conference, sponsored by the Olliance Group and now on its 7th year, has become one of the premier open source gatherings in the world. Top IT leaders of the VA came to the conference to ask for the advice of the open source community in finalizing the VA's strategy for the future of its world-class electronic health record (EHR) system, VistA.

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VA Wait Times As Good or Better Than Private Sector: Report

Richard Sisk | Military.com | September 20, 2017

VA health care is as good or in some cases better than that offered by the private sector on key measures including wait times, according to a study commissioned by the American Legion. The report, issued Tuesday and titled "A System Worth Saving," concludes that the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system "continues to perform as well as, and often better than, the rest of the U.S. health-care system on key quality measures," including patient safety, satisfaction and care coordination...

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