DoD Takes New EHR Direction, But It Still Isn’t The Right One

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | May 23, 2013

At a brief press conference on Wednesday, journalists watched in slightly bemused fascination as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall attempted to explain the Department of Defense’s new direction in its ongoing efforts to modernize its electronic health record system while improving interoperability with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  In addition to being able to share records between VA and active service military health facilities, both departments wish to reduce the benefits backlog that has prevented hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans from receiving the compensation they’re entitled to.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has attempted to reboot the DoD’s efforts after a stern Congressional hearing where he admitted that the department was way off track.  His first step was shifting responsibility for the project to Kendall, who told reporters yesterday that the project was actually three different issues rolled into one: interoperability with the VA, modernizing its EHR for health record management, which involves choosing a core EHR system, and reducing the benefits backlog.