Senate Committee Wants Plan For Electronic Health Records

The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have been separately building electronic health record (EHR) systems for active-duty soldiers and veterans. These records are designed to follow soldiers from their first day in the military, through their service, and into the VA in their post-military lives. Now the Senate Appropriations Committee wants the two agencies to provide details on just how these EHRs are going to be developed.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is pushing to have the EHR program include some sort of plan to have both agencies bring their respective EHR systems together. The committee wants the DoD and the VA to form a plan that would service both departments  to reduce total costs.

The DoD and the VA have comparable systems. The committee showed concern for the fact that neither agency has shown any indication of how they are going to work together to satisfy their shared system requirements. The two departments share 1,800 EHR system requirements. Of those, 97% of them are comparable and only 3% are department-specific.

The committee simply does not see the need for two independent EHR systems when they have so many requirements in common. The Committee ordered both departments to submit a joint strategic plan utilizing common requirements.

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