The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs told Congress that VA and DoD work together to evaluate business processes and identify the necessary changes throughout the lifecycle of a $4.3 billion contract that seeks to help the Pentagon deploy a commercial electronic health record system, Federal News Radio reported Monday.
“DoD is making available senior acquisition, testing and project management experts who were instrumental in DoD’s own transformation to assist VA with initial contract implementation,” VA Secretary David Shulkin and Patrick Shanahan, deputy defense secretary, wrote in an October letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Arizona).
The letter is in response to McCain’s request for updates on lessons learned and best practices associated with the EHR implementation program.
Shanahan and Shulkin told the senator that VA has begun to develop an implementation and acquisition timeline and created a new EHR program office to be staffed with health IT and contracting professionals.
The letter comes as DoD marks the initial rollout of MHS Genesis at four health care facilities and as VA negotiates the terms of a potential 10-year contract with Cerner to field the same EHR platform.
DoD plans to fully deploy MHS Genesis in 2018 and complete the implementation phase in 2022, the report added.