VA EHR project faces DOD opposition

Uh-oh. What had looked like a full speed ahead innovative program just hit a speed bump. The Defense Department opposes congressional guidance to adopt the Department of Veterans Affairs' electronic health records (EHR) architecture or to use identical software platforms, data standards and data repositories, Dr. Stephen Jones, principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs, wrote in a letter to Federal Computer Week. Jones' comments were contained in a letter which alleges that the magazine erroneously reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee's Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee had "directed" the DOD to use the VA EHR architecture in its 2007 appropriations bill. Rather, the committee "urged" the DOD to use the VA system, according to Jones.

The House Appropriations Committee's Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee wrote in its report on the 2007 VA appropriations bill that "the two departments should, to the maximum extent possible, use identical software platforms, data standards and data repositories," Jones wrote.

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