The talk between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defence Department to modernize EMR programs is in progress. The goal of the discussions, as it has been reported, is to see in what way the interoperability of healthcare information can be improved. It is reported that both departments have agreed upon the idea of modernizing electronic medical record solutions and programs to achieve their goals.
According to Christopher A. Miller, the head of the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization and Integrated Electronic Health Records Program, both the Defense Department and the Department of Veteran Affairs have started devising plans to modernize the EMR software in their respective areas. In the coming weeks, both departments will see the various possibilities to enhance the interoperability of the information gathered from various healthcare sectors. As part of the plans, a colossal acquisition scheme has been drafted out.
Miller, who worked as a marine intelligence officer in the past, has had exposure to multiple acquisition projects. The current acquisition plan that is in the discussion at the moment will begin as early as 2016. In addition to boosting the interoperability of healthcare data between Defense Department and Department of Veteran Affairs, the schemes and the acquisition plans have seamless scope in the entire healthcare sector as it is towards improving the sharing of healthcare information. The schemes can benefit private healthcare providers, VA healthcare officials and service members.
Miller Foresees the Hurdles on the Way
Although Miller seemed quite positive about the acquisition programs, he expressed his concerns about the hurdles on the way. As there are few beneficiaries for all these schemes at the moment, there will be lots of naysayers and difficult situations in the process of achieving the set goals. As per the current statistics, the total number of beneficiaries for all these schemes is less than 10 million. This is the maximum and in effect, the actual number of beneficiaries will be quite less.
To set the ball rolling, Miller has sent formal requests to certain organizations for the acquisition of EMR solutions. However, he said that no confirmation has been made yet. He hoped that the release of the final RFP will be made towards the end of this year and said that more efforts will be made next year for the selection of sources and deployments. When asked about the colossal EMR acquisition project, Miller said that he saw it as a phase of transformation rather than an expense.