VA finishes interoperability phase of DoD record integration

The Department of Veterans Affairs has finished the interoperability portion of its massive, three-stage effort with the Department of Defense to create a single, lifelong EHR for service members, Federal Computer Week reports. "We have the best interoperability between two health systems in the country," VA CIO Roger Baker boasted at a Washington, D.C., conference late last week.

The VA now is moving ahead with phase two of the Lifetime Virtual Electronic Record effort: making 15 million patient records available for secure exchange with other organizations through the Nationwide Health Information Network. Later, the two departments will tackle the complex task of developing protocols for securely delivering patient information to the point of care, even at private facilities. "A true lifetime virtual electronic record has to include the private sector," Baker said.

Baker also said that the VA has restarted some of the 45 IT projects that he ordered frozen in June for a department-wide review, though he did not elaborate. Baker did suggest that some "below-the-line" and low-priority programs could be scrapped, according to FCW.

For more on the VA-DoD integration project:
- check out this Federal Computer Week article