Pentagon, VA say EMRs are years away

While it might help the agencies free up resources to care for injured soldiers, it could be years before the Pentagon and the VA will be able to install a shared care management system. That's the word from senior officials, including assistant defense secretary for health affairs Stephen Jones and VA acting principal undersecretary for health Gerald Cross.

A presidential task force investigating poor outpatient treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center recommended last month that the two develop a joint case management system, and President Bush followed up with an order requiring the recommendations be implemented. However, the two agencies can't do this overnight, leaders stressed.

On the Pentagon side, some systems may not be complete until 2012. Things won't be helped much by the fact that the DoD has previously refused Congress's request that it use the VA's EMR architecture. (Sounds like this is going to be a nice, friendly project.) To get things moving, the Pentagon and VA have now contracted for an independent study to sketch out how the two can share medical and case management records.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Associated Press item

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