Did Jon Stewart Foil the Pentagon's Health Records Plan?

Bob Brewin | Netxtgov | April 9, 2013

I’m picking up strong signals that the Military Health System abruptly scrapped plans to upgrade its electronic health record -- the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application, or AHLTA -- as senior Defense Department officials lean toward adopting the Veterans Affairs Department’s EHR -- the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, known as VistA.

Multiple sources have told me that Defense officials had planned to issue a bunch of requests for proposals from contractors over the last week to beef up AHLTA with commercial software after scrapping a grand plan in February to develop a joint electronic health record to serve both departments.  

Those planned buys have now been put on hold, a sure sign, I’m told, that VistA has powerful backers in the Pentagon, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Hagel backed VistA in 1982 when he served as deputy director of the Veterans Administration (the Veterans Administration became the cabinet-level Veterans Affairs Department in 1989).