VA, DoD to speed up iEHR rollout

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The joint effort to create an integrated electronic health record system that services both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense isn't moving fast enough, according to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and DoD Secretary Leon Panetta, who spoke at a press conference this week. According to Panetta, the plan now is to "meet or beat" previously established deadlines.

"The ability to bring that information together, across our two departments, is extremely important for our medical professionals in order to provide the best care possible," Panetta said. "This is a really tough effort, but we're continuing to work at it and we're confronting technical and bureaucratic challenges head on.

In May, Shinseki and Panetta announced the deadline for the iEHR to be 2017; two months prior, VA CIO Roger Baker said that medical facilities in San Antonio and Hampton Roads, Va., will launch a preliminary version of the iEHR in 2014.

"We'll go as fast as we can without accepting risk that's not tolerable," Shinseki said in the May press conference. "Quality and safety are the standards we measure ourselves by."

Despite the declaration, no timeline has been set, spokesmen for VA and DoD said, according to a FederalNewsRadio.com article. A plan, Panetta said, is expected to be presented early next month.

"We've got to do everything we can to move this on a more expeditious path," he said.

To learn more:
- read the transcript of the press conference
- here's the FederalNewsRadio.com article

To learn more:
Single interface can't fully integrate VA, DoD EHR systems
VA pushes for advanced CDS for iEHR system
iEHR to roll out in 2017
Preliminary iEHR to roll out in 2014