VA CIO: Transparency, Collaboration Will Guide EHRM Path Forward

At a recent House hearing, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) CIO emphasized the importance of collaboration for the EHRM project.

Kurt DelBene, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) CIO and assistant secretary for Information and Technology, told House subcommittee members at a November 9th hearing that the agency aims to avoid additional delays to its EHR modernization (EHRM) project by ensuring transparency with Congress.

VA has halted the EHRM project several times due to patient safety concerns and health IT budgetary shortfalls.

At the hearing, Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., noted that congressional “deep-dives” into the Office of Information and Technology’s (OIT) budget found that it does not communicate “tradeoffs or prioritizations” for the various modernization projects underway, including the EHRM.

DelBene recognized the agency’s budgetary shortcomings and noted that this is an area of prioritization for him as the new VA CIO.

“We can grow in our ability to look at the different programs we have and understand very richly what the resources being allocated to each of those programs,” DelBene said. “The importance of IT systems has never been higher, and we must ensure that our efforts are focused and resourced accordingly. It’s all dependent upon having great business accounting that aids the decision-making.”

“For VA’s modernization projects to be successful, they must start with a clear vision, adequate resources, a development plan, success metrics, and strong collaborative partnerships with all stakeholders, and that includes members of Congress,” he said. “OIT has established the foundation for this operational approach, but we’re still early in the journey.”

In response to a question from Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., DelBene said VA leadership aims to be “very transparent” with Congress regarding EHR implementations and potential roadblocks to help ensure the success of the modernization program.

Next Steps

Dig Deeper on Clinical documentation

Cloud Computing
Mobile Computing