Congress seeks single EHR for military

Congress is about to ask the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs to use one electronic health records (EHRs) system. DOD and the VA treat a similar pool of patients, so a common military EHR would be useful and logical, industry and healthcare experts say. The House and Senate adopted similar language in appropriations bills in which they urge the VA and DOD to use a common EHR system. Differences in the bills must be resolved in conference later this year.

In its version of the fiscal 2007 appropriations bill for the VA, the Senate Appropriations Committee's Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee asked DOD to adopt the VA's Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA). The subcommittee passed the bill late last month. The Senate bill's report language commends the VA's EHR system and its comprehensive future EHR system, called HealtheVet-VistA. That system, according to the report, will revolutionize the veterans' health care system by making every veteran's health care record accessible online to VA clinicians.

For more infomation on the military's EHR:
- take a look at this article from GovHealthIT