Unhappy Lawmakers Take Aim At VA, DoD Plans To Nix Joint EHR

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | February 8, 2013

After the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense announced plans to scale back costs by scrapping plans to create an entirely new EHR system shared between the two organizations, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed disappointment and frustration.  A statement released by the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committee blasted the new policy, faulting the departments for already spending $1 billion of the estimated $4 billion cost of the new system without producing any results.

Senate Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), stated that he was “deeply disappointed by the decision to back away from a commitment to develop and implement a truly integrated, single EHR. An integrated record would allow for a streamlined and timely claims process, faster decisions on benefits, less duplication in medical testing and more efficient, cost-effective treatment for both
physical and mental health needs.”

Florida Republican Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House’s committee, also condemned the unexpected approach. “The decision by DoD and VA to turn their backs on a truly integrated electronic health record system is deeply troubling,” he said.  “Until yesterday, both agencies have given us nothing but assurances they were working toward that goal. Previous attempts by DoD and VA to use disparate computer systems to produce universal electronic health records have failed, and unfortunately it appears they are repeating past mistakes. When DoD and VA take shortcuts, the veterans and service members under their care will be shortchanged.”...