Major retail pharmacy chains and industry associations have pledged to adopt Blue Button technical standards to transmit prescription drug history data to customers, the White House announced earlier this month.
The DoD has signaled its intent to buy a commercial EHR to replace its legacy systems since it and the Veterans Affairs Department canceled in February 2013 (citing cost reasons) an effort that would have resulted in a joint EHR running in both military and veterans medical systems.
Since the February 2013 cancelation by the VA and Defense Department of a planned joint integrated EHR – the iEHR – the VA has faced the problem of modernizing its legacy EHR, officially known as the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, but referred to daily as VistA. Industry insiders describe VistA Evolution as preparatory work for what may be future procurements of specific EHR modules, such as those for pharmacy prescriptions or lab results.
Sixty-nine percent of physicians had applied or planned to apply for the federal electronic-health-record incentive program in 2013, according to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Veterans Affairs Department information technology appropriations for the current fiscal year are set to reach $3.7 billion, an amount that exceeds the departmental request of $3.68 billion.
The intersection of mobile technology – devices and sensors – with healthcare delivery has great potential to improve outcomes, especially should nontraditional data sources become more available to physicians, said panelists during a Jan. 9 ACT-IAC panel in Washington, D.C.
The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs face a Dec. 31, 2016 deadline for deploying modernized electronic health record systems following passage of the fiscal 2014 national defense authorization act into law.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and its contractors have paid little attention to addressing potential fraud and abuse vulnerabilities in electronic health records, according to a report from Health and Human Services Department's Office of Inspector General.
Since the Veterans Affairs Department restarted its pharmacy reengineering software development project, or PRE, in 2009 it has missed milestones, lacked appropriate oversight and faces an uncertain future in terms of compatibility with other VA electronic health record plans, finds a Dec. 23, 2013 office of inspector general report (.pdf).
The contract for the enterprise service bus meant to connect the electronic health records of the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs has not been canceled, say military and industry officials, although an industry executive acknowledged that funding for it has been reduced.