Hagel Takes Personal Responsibility For Electronic Health Records

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | April 17, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said he is personally taking responsibility for resolving problems that have plagued the exchange of electronic health records between Defense and the Veterans Affairs Department.

President Obama in April 2009 called for a “unified lifetime electronic health record” to be shared by Defense and VA; an  apologetic Hagel told a Tuesday hearing of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee that he could not justify the lack of progress since then.

“I can’t sit here and defend what we have done,” Hagel said in response to a series of questions from Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., about the integrated electronic health record that was all but scrapped by the two departments in February in favor of interoperable but separate systems. “I am going to acknowledge we are way behind,” he said.