POLITICO: ​Insiders tell Trump: You're missing half the story on VA health care

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Insiders tell Trump: You're missing half the story on VA health care By DAN DIAMOND, Politico, 03/20/17

The much-maligned veterans' health care system has real problems, but President Donald Trump and other Washington leaders keep forgetting to learn its digital health lessons, too.

That's according to health care IT leaders and thinkers who participated in POLITICO's health IT advisory forum this week. The forum was convened ahead of POLITICO's Tuesday briefing on lessons from the VA health system.

The experts hit on a nuance that Trump rarely articulates: The VA's much-publicized wait time scandals have overshadowed what it has done well in health care.

"I think there is an interesting dichotomy with the VA," one consultant said. "A lot of people hear horrible news in the press about delays and inadequacy, but the VA is actually doing many wonderful things technology-wise." For instance, the VA won awards for its groundbreaking electronic health record system, and multiple studies have suggested that the VA outperformed the private sector on quality and disease prevention.

"The VA is the largest, most sophisticated integrated health system in America," one hospital leader said. "The VA was one of the first health systems to have an integrated electronic record, well before meaningful use."

However, the experts all said that the VA's technology has hit a wall for a variety of reasons, ranging from…

G2X TAKE: This article from Politico published in advance of this morning’s briefing with Shulkin on “lessons from the VA health system” highlights the challenge the new Secretary and the new administration face as they weigh next steps for how to improve both public perception and reality for the Veterans they serve.

The author highlights feedback from a recent Healthcare IT advisory forum on some quick wins and ways for the new administration to score – many easier said than done.

For those who missed the article published by Politico this past Sunday entitled “A 40-year 'conspiracy' at the VA”, which highlights the history of VistA and offers some thoughts on where it may be going, it is worth a read (especially if you are sitting at a briefing and there is a lull in the action). – link here

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