Hagel tells committee he stopped Defense EHR RFP

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a House committee earlier this month the department pulled back from issuing an planned request for proposals for an electronic health record at his instruction.

"I stopped it from going out the end of March because I didn't think we knew what the hell we were doing," Hagel told the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense April 16.

Adoption of a commercial and proprietary EHR has strong support in some parts of the Defense Department, and proprietary system adoption supporters appeared to have the upper hand following a February announcement by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki that both departments would stop development on a core, joint EHR system.

Under Hagel, the momentum for purchasing a system has by most accounts slowed, although by no means disappeared. The secretary also told the committee that he's "restructuring who's in charge and the accountability of this."

"Until I get my arms around this, I'm not going to spend any more money on this," he said, adding that "we will have something decided within 30 days."

For more:
- go to the hearing webpage (prepared testimony and webcast available)

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