When it comes to IT integration projects, this one's clearly a mega-monster. But at long last, it looks like the Department of Defense (DoD) and the VA have finally achieved some interoperability between their respective medical record systems. The two now have software upgrades in place which will allow clinical staffers to review each both agencies' clinical encounter data, medical procedures and lists of problems on shared patients. The two already share pharmacy, allergy, microbiology, chemistry/hematology data and radiology reports. This is achieved through the Clinical Data Repository/Health Data Repository software, which synchronizes data between VA and DoD patient records.
All that being said, the DoD and VA still seem to be short of their goal, and running out of time. By law, the two agencies are required to implement fully-interoperable EMR systems by September 30, 2009. Though they're clearly making progress, I wouldn't bet the house on their meeting that deadline. After all, bear in mind that they've been working on health record initiatives since 1998, and spent $1.8 billion, but still haven't closed the deal.
To find out more about the EMR integration project at the DoD/VA:
- read this Healthcare IT News piece