While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has completed its migration of existing records into the data center of its electronic health record (EHR) vendor, the VA and Department of Defense (DoD) are jointly searching for a director and deputy to oversee EHR modernization efforts.

The director and deputy director will oversee and manage joint EHR modernization programs for the Military Health System, VA, and U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, the director and deputy will report directly to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of the VA.

The joint office has been a sticking point of EHR efforts at VA and DoD. Interoperability between the two departments has been a key reason for EHR modernization, but Congress has shared its concerns on the lack of a joint governance structure. The departments announced their intent to create the office in October 2018.

“Integrating patient data between VA and DoD is one of the nation’s most transformational healthcare initiatives. These leaders will be central to the success of this effort, which will make it easier to provide seamless, quality care to service members and Veterans,” Associate Director of Recruitment and Marketing at VA Darren Sherrard said.

Recently, the VA announced that it successfully moved 23.5 million veterans records into EHR vendor Cerner’s data center. Altogether, the VA moved 78 billion records across 21 clinical areas. Meanwhile, DoD’s MHS Genesis effort is in the early deployment phase, with implementation at several facilities.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.