Defense Health shoring up IT ahead of EHR move

Amber Corrin | Federal Times | February 6, 2015

As the Defense Health Agency moves forward in pursuit of a new electronic health records system, officials there also are overhauling IT to become a more agile, responsive organization. Top priorities for the 2015-2016 time frame include the EHR, enterprise consolidation, interoperability with the Veterans Administration, application rationalization and the standardization of enterprise activities, according to Dave Bowen, DHA CIO and director of healthcare IT.

"We're continuing to consolidate across the enterprise; having consolidated our central units we're now looking at treatment facilities…and trying to bring them into fold in a more standardized fashion," Bowen said Feb. 4 at AFCEA Army IT Day in Vienna, Va. "We're continuing to work with the Veterans Administration for more interoperability. This has been a topic that's gotten a lot of press – I can tell you we send massive amounts of data to the VA each and every day, millions and millions of fields of data."

Bowen said DHA has been establishing methodologies to further standardize interaction between the two agencies – a move that's critical as DoD and VA pursue different paths toward new EHR systems. To date, the agencies have jointly standardized more than 46,000 medical terms and are continuing to work on standardizing more activities....