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VA, Pentagon Introducing Early EHR System in 2014

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The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments’ merged electronic health records system could be available at two facilities as early as 2014, according to FierceGovernment IT.

VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker said Wednesday that the joint electronic health records system will rollout to two facilities in San Antonio and Hampton Roads, Va. by 2014.

Baker said the facilities were chosen based on their proximity to large active service military and veterans populations, according to Fierce.

Harris Corp. is contracted to build the iEHR system, which is expected to take four to six years to be fully functional.

The Pentagon and VA will split the $4 billion cost the system will take to complete.

The iEHR deployed to the two facilities will be an early version with unified graphical user interface and a common underlying data later, Baker said.

According to Baker, the interface is already in use at a healthcare center in Chicago and two in Honolulu.

The VA asked for $169 million to spend in 2013 for the EHR system and recently set up a program management office with about 80 employees, Baker said.

The VA has also grabbed 60 agencies and 650 individual organizations to aid with the VA’s Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, Baker said.

Baker said this will help the VA as it makes changes in its open source software.

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