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DoD, VA Address Healthcare Data Standardization Project

frank kendallThe departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs will develop a data management service that seeks to allow the agencies to seamlessly share electronic medical records, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

Bob Brewin writes the system is a revision of a 2009 plan to create from scratch a new joint repository for electronic health data.

The report quoted Frank Kendall, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, as saying the original plan was abandoned due to budget considerations.

The revised strategy is to focus on deploying a solution that would easily move patient health data between the two departments, Kendall said at a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees.

“It is crucial to note that a seamlessly integrated and interoperable electronic health record with full data exchange and read/write capability can be achieved without DoD and VA operating a single healthcare management software system,” Kendall told the panel.

Robert Petzel, VA undersecretary for health, said the key is to standardize the healthcare information.

“Health record data integration and exchange is possible regardless of the software systems,” Petzel said, adding, “The important thing is that both systems use national standards and a common language to express the content and format of the information they share.”

Both officials also acknowledged the need to modernize each of their department’s legacy EHR systems.

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