DoD: New EHR not about interoperability with VA

Tom Sullivan | Healthcare IT News | July 30, 2015

Chris MillerChris Miller, executive officer for DHMSM, said DoD is looking at ways to build on the data sharing it already does with VA 'We share more info between VA and DoD than any two other large institutions today'

When Defense Department officials briefed reporters prior to announcing that the Cerner, Leidos and Accenture team won its EHR modernization contract, they were adamant that so much speculation about the DoD’s ability to share patient information with the Department of Veterans Affairs had been unfounded. "There is not a big interoperability problem with the VA and DoD today," said Frank Kendall, DoD Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. "It’s a big misconception out there that this software system we’re buying is about interoperability."

Speculation about the inability of DoD and VA to swap records invariably stems from the sprawling Integrated Electronic Health Record, formerly known as iEHR, that the two departments embarked on together before the project wound up mired in politics and finger pointing. VA publicly urged DoD to use its long-standing VistA proprietary EHR as a replacement for the DoD’s aging AHLTA – in fact, a suggestion DoD said it considered before opting instead for a commercial off-the-shelf option. That effectively triggered the long request for proposals that drew to a close late Wednesday...