Opting against the VA's VistA, the Defense Secretary explained that "commercial alternatives may offer reduced cost, reduced schedule and technical risk, and access to increased current capability and future growth in capability."
Along with scaling its digital claims processing system, the VA is trying to get more veterans to file fully developed claims -- putting more documentation responsibility on vets, but promising a faster response at the same time.
A grant program is trying to help doctors, clinics and hospitals in rural California link to HIEs, so patients being referred for specialized care in urban areas can have their medical history follow them.
Despite the frustration and the jokes around iEHR, real data exchange is happening between the DoD and VA and the potential to build on that for the future resides in creatively using resources built in the past.
Saying that the proposed legislation would address "the failure of DoD and VA to develop a single unified medical record," one of the bill's backers explains that it would require VA and DoD to prove they are implementing a plan for that single medical record.