Congress to Defense and VA: Give Us a Plan for Integrating Health Records by February

Bob Brewin | NextGov | December 12, 2013

 The Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments will need to present a detailed plan for developing a single or interoperable electronic health record in just six weeks, based on language contained in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act agreed to by the House and Senate Wednesday.

The two departments abandoned efforts to develop a single EHR in February when the  estimated costs of a system reached $28 billion. The 2014 authorization bill emphasizes interoperability based on computable data rather than a single record.

The bill requires Defense and VA to provide Congress “with a detailed plan for the oversight and execution of the interoperable electronic health records with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record,” by Jan. 31, 2014.

The EHR should feature “an integrated display of data” and should be based on national standards to allow the exchange of data with private health care providers, the bill said.

Open Health News' Take: 

The out for both agencies is to declare victory and pick one of the VA/DoD EHR user interface that they have already developed and deployed at a number of facilities. See   -  Peter Groen, Senior Editor, OHNews