War Vets in “Life and Death” Struggle at Home Won’t See Electronic Health Records Until 2017 … Maybe

“I know what it takes to get this stuff done and five years, gentlemen, is totally unacceptable,” Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, chairman of the VA subcommittee on oversight and investigations, told Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki July 25.(DoD)

Integrated VA-DOD Health Record at Least 5 Years Away

“It’s not technology … it’s leadership,” said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, when explaining the ongoing delays to merging existing electronic health record systems

by Karen Peterson
The News Tribune, July 28, 2012

House committees on armed services and veterans affairs held a joint hearing Wednesday to review details of President Barack Obama’s plan to improve the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for separating and retiring military members, with a kind of five-to-seven-day “reverse boot camp” available by late 2013 to smooth transition to civilian life and employment.

But lawmakers were more interested in asking their witnesses – the secretaries of defense and of veteran affairs – for progress on some older initiatives that so far have fallen short of helping veterans.

One such initiative is the integration of separate VA and Department of Defense electronic health record systems, a key component to achieving Obama’s promise of a Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) that would capture full health care histories on individuals, including private-sector care.

American know-how put a man on the moon in less than a decade, but 50 years later we can’t produce single electronic medical database for our military and veterans in the same span of time — Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs committee

Committee members said they were disappointed to learn that full integration of the VA and Department of Defense health record systems won’t occur until 2017. And Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki didn’t sound confident about meeting that deadline.

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One Response

  1. He’s right. It’s a lack of WILL…DESIRE to get anything meaningful done. None of this stuff is all that difficult when compared to many of the things we’ve pulled off in the past. We just don’t do them for veterans.

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