US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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Humetrix to Unveil its Medicare Approved iBlueButton 8.0 Mobile Platform at CES in Vegas

Press Release | Humetrix | January 3, 2019

At CES, Humetrix will unveil at booth 43943 of the Tech West/Sands Expo Health & Wellness Marketplace, its iBlueButton 8.0 mobile health platform approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for use by 53 million Americans covered by Medicare. A consumer life and cost saving digital health tool, iBlueButton 8.0 was introduced at the White House Blue Button Conference in August 2018 to illustrate how CMS approved applications powered by the Medicare Blue Button claim database can help millions of Americans in the Medicare program better manage their often complex and at times error-prone healthcare.

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Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Draw the Line - Time for the US to Embrace Open Source Emergency and Disaster Response

For nearly 20 years now the global open source community and applications have been a keystone to disaster relief efforts around the world. The enormous number of disaster relief applications and knowledge that has been developed through all these years, should, and needs to be leveraged in the current crisis. For that reason, Open Health News is starting a series of articles to highlight some of the most important solutions. A substantial portion the open source applications for emergency and disaster response that exist are actually already on the news website in the form of articles and resource pages.

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IBM gears up for Pentagon health push

Adam Mazmanian | Federal Computer Week | April 24, 2014

IBM named Dr. Keith Salzman, an early pioneer in health IT for the U.S. Army, as its chief medical information officer as part of an overall expansion of its federal health care practice announced April 24. Salzman comes to IBM from defense and civilian IT contractor CACI, where he held a similar post. Read More »

IBM Releases Study Highlighting Success of OSEHRA Open Health Community Innovation

The IBM Center for The Business of Government is a successful advocate for the improvement of the effectiveness of government business that focuses on the future of operation and management. Recently, the center published a scholarly work comprised of case studies in healthcare entitled “Making Open Innovation Ecosystems Work.” It was written by a team of distinguished academics including Donald E. Wynn, Jr., Ph.D., Renee M.E. Pratt, Ph.D., and Randy V. Bradley, Ph.D., and OSEHRA was one of two cases chosen for analysis.

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IBM, Epic Unveil Advisory Group As They Vie For Big Military EHR Contract

Darius Tahir | Modern Healthcare | January 7, 2015

IBM Corp. and Epic Systems Corp., likely hoping to show why their joint bid should win the Defense Department's $11 billion, 10-year EHR contract, Wednesday unveiled a 17-person group they've assembled to help advise the department and guide it through implementation if they win the work. Read More »

In Military Care, a Pattern of Errors but Not Scrutiny

Sharon LaFraniere and Andrew W. Lehren | New York Times | June 28, 2014

Since 2001, the Defense Department has required military hospitals to conduct safety investigations when patients unexpectedly die or suffer severe injury. The object is to expose and fix systemic errors, often in the most routine procedures, that can have disastrous consequences for the quality of care. Yet there is no evidence of such an inquiry into Mrs. Zeppa’s death.

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Indian Health Service of HHS Contributes Open Source Version of Electronic Health Record

Press Release | OSEHRA | June 6, 2014

The Indian Health Service (IHS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has contributed an open source version of its Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) to the OSEHRA Technical Journal. This contribution will complement the current open source EHR capabilities of the VistA code base now hosted by OSEHRA. Read More »

Instead of Medicare for All, How about VA for All?

I wonder -- why would people be calling for a new system that would still have thousands of private hospitals/facilities and millions of healthcare professionals, practicing FFS medicine using countless systems and data structures? In short, why aren't people calling for VA for All? Like Medicare, the VA -- more especially, its healthcare component, the Veterans Health Administration -- is charged with providing healthcare to a designed population, in this case, veterans. Unlike Medicare, though, it does so as an integrated health system (by far the largest in the U.S.), with 170 VA Medical Centers, over a thousand outpatient facilities, and somewhere over 100,000 physicians...it offers some of the finest care in the world. It offers a range of services that Medicare can only dream of, and it does so at, it is believed, lower costs than private coverage or even Medicare. Plus, it also was an innovator in electronic health records and is today in telehealth. What's not to like?

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InterSystems Successfully Completes eHealth Exchange Product Testing to Ensure Interoperability

Press Release | InterSystems, Healtheway | January 8, 2015

InterSystems...today announced that the InterSystems HealthShare® informatics platform has successfully completed the eHealth Exchange Product Testing Program. As an eHealth Exchange Validated product, HealthShare supports a common set of standards and specifications that enable a secure, trusted, and interoperable connection among all participating eHealth Exchange organizations for the standardized flow of information, benefiting millions of patients. Read More »

Is DoD's EHR modernization bound to fail?

Jack McCarthy | Healthcare IT News | July 28, 2015

...some are saying the system, the most expensive EHR investment of its kind, is bound for failure, while others suggest the contract itself should be delayed pending further review. Thomas J. Verbeck, a CIO and a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general, recently wrote that sharing data is essential for the DoD because it will speed healthcare delivery and save lives, as well as reduce healthcare costs, prevent medical errors and avoid unnecessary testing. "But the DoD's plan will fail," Verbeck wrote in The Fayetteville Observer. "That's because most of today's EHR systems, including the bidder finalists, are designed only to work within their own system.

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Is Robert A. McDonald Fit to be VA Secretary?

President Obama's nominee to head the [VA] is now Robert A McDonald, former CEO of Procter and Gamble...Yet aside from a single article on the Ring of Fire web site, all news coverage and discussion so far has ignored Mr McDonald's previous experience in health care leadership, but also that his relevant track record ought to raise questions about his fitness for the VA position.

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Joel Mewton

Joel Mewton is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Bitscopic, a healthcare-focused data, analytics and product company. Joel manages Bitscopic’s infrastructure, charts the company’s technological roadmap, and generally just takes care of what needs to be done.
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JP Systems Awarded $100M from the V.A. For Foundational Data Standards Work

Press Release | JP Systems | October 12, 2015

J P Systems, Inc. was awarded a $100 million (ceiling) contract from the Veteran's Administration to standardize medical terminologies.  The overall purpose of the work is that of patient safety. When doctors use standard terms, healthcare providers all over the world are better able to understand the details of patient records written by different doctors over many decades, even in different countries and languages. Continuity and accuracy count a great deal. As Dr. Robert M. Califf, Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research from Duke University says: "People are dying because we don't use the same names for the same things!"

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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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Key Architect of VA’s Open Source Strategy Elected Chairman of the Board of OSEHRA

Press Release | OSEHRA | October 17, 2016

The Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) announced today that Mike O’Neill, CEO of MedicaSoft, has been elected Chairman of the OSEHRA Board of Directors. O’Neill, an architect of VA’s open source strategy and a thought leader in the open source community, has served several years on the Board and was most recently re-elected in September 2015 as a representative of OSEHRA’s Organizational Members.  He assumed the Chairmanship on October 6.  “It is an honor to be chosen for this role,” said O’Neill.  “This is an exciting time for OSEHRA, with the new Federal Government policy on open source reaffirming our mission and impact.”