The Veterans Affairs Department faces many challenges with its decision to abandon the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) and adopt a commercial, off-the-shelf electronic health record. But with a high dollar amount and big stakes comes as even larger culture change, federal IT experts said.
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin announced his intention to drop VistA and move the department to a commercial, off-the-shelf electronic health record.
The Veterans Affairs Department is preparing a “State of VA” report on the challenges facing the agency, Secretary David Shulkin told reporters Wednesday. The report comes as VA quickly begins to plot some of its efforts to comply with the President’s government reorganization efforts during the fiscal 2018 budget cycle. VA is one of few civilian agencies that may see a major funding boost next year, according to the President’s budget proposal.
The Government Accountability Office had some hard truths for the Veterans Affairs Department, which has failed to produce more modern, interoperable IT systems after years of failed pilots and heated congressional hearings. GAO says VA should drop its plans to modernize VistA and find a commercial option instead.
The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently published proposed new standards for electronic health records to work together. The interoperability standards are open now for public comment. Steve Posnack, director of Standards and Technology in the coordinator’s office, joins Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is pushing for better integration and communication between the VA and Defense Department in her veterans policy plan. She proposes restructuring the Veterans Health Administration but specifically opposes efforts to privatize VA health care.
When U.S. military forces engage, they’re usually working in concert with allies. The more entities that are involved and the more communications channels there are, the greater the chances they’ll run into blackages. It’s called interoperability — or a lack thereof. Joel Dolisy, the CIO of network analysis company Solarwinds, has come up with a three-point action plan for boosting military communications interoperability. Federal Drive with Tom Temin asked him, what are some of the challenges they’re facing now?
Industry stakeholders told the Government Accountability Office they are concerned about global interoperability with the Next Generation Air Transportation Systems and how modernization efforts around the world have been hampered due to constrained resources.
The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are a long way from deploying new electronic health record systems that can communicate with each other. Both agencies didn’t meet a deadline last year to make sure their data complies with national standards. Valerie Melvin is director of information management and technology resources issues at GAO. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose why defined goals would help both departments better measure their progress.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology brought agency and industry experts to its Gaithersburg headquarters to discuss cloud computing this week. Federal News Radio’s Lauren Larson was there. She spoke with NIST Cloud Technical Program Manager Robert Bohn about the key word of the event — interoperability. Read Lauren’s related story.