Officials from the Veterans Affairs Department last Thursday defended their decision to scrap previous plans and begin a fourth, and hopefully final, attempt to modernize the agency’s electronic health records system.
In June, VA Secretary David Shulkin announced his plan to award Cerner Corp. a single-source contract to put the agency on the same electronic health records platform as the Defense Department. At a price-tag of about $10 billion, it would be one of the biggest health IT implementations in history, said VA Chief Information Officer Scott Blackburn.
Blackburn highlighted the differences between the Cerner plan and previous failed attempts at achieving interoperability between VA and DoD medical records before a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. Unlike previous attempts to modernize a motley crue of decades-old IT systems, the new plan would put every VA facility on a single, uniform platform over the next 10 years.
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