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GAO: VA, DoD Need Outcome-Oriented Goals for EHR Systems Interoperability

EHRThe Government Accountability Office has said the departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs have not defined outcome-oriented goals and metrics to support interoperability between both entities’ electronic health records systems.

GAO said Wednesday DoD and the VA determined separate modernization efforts would be more cost effective than a joint system development but neither department has a comparison of estimated costs between the two approaches.

Auditors also noted the departments’ schedules show that separate modernization efforts will take longer than a projected 2017 completion date for the previous interoperability approach.

GAO added the VA’s modernization program for its VistA EHR system has experienced delays that led to an outdated system but the department’s health undersecretary said the program will be complete in fiscal year 2018.

The government watchdog restated a prior recommendation for the VA to work on its information technology modernization approach and address challenges with interoperability and planning functions.

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