​News: Congressional oversight of DoD EHR deployment

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Congress keeping watchful eye over DoD’s electronic health record roll out, By Scott Maucione, Federal News Radio, March 6, 2017

“Congress is keeping a close eye on the Defense Department it takes its first steps in deploying and integrating electronic health records systems.

The House Appropriations Committee is tightening the reins on the electronic health records program to make sure the Veterans Affairs Department’s health records system and DoD’s system are “completely and meaningfully” able to work together.

The 2017 House defense appropriations bill, which the committee released last week, puts a handful of oversight mechanisms on the electronic health records program to make sure it is implemented properly. Just last month, Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington announced it is the first base to have the new electronic health record, called MHS Genesis.

But as DoD begins the long roll out over the next five years to transition all of its bases to the system, House appropriators want the department to check in. The 2017 bill requires the program executive officer for the Defense Healthcare Management System to provide…”

G2X TAKE: While DoD leaders take a victory lap after a successful initial deployment of MHS GENESIS, not all members of congress of are quite as comfortable. This article highlights some of the mechanisms in place to ensure milestones and budgets are met along the way.

Most of these are fairly straight forward, but it is worth keeping an eye on this as the success and challenges associated with this effort have broader implications not only across the Defense Health sector, but also with the VA as they prepare to embark on their own enterprise EHR implementation effort. 

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