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Senators Blackburn, Tester Ramp Up Oversight Of VAs $16 Billion Electronic Health Record Modernization

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Jon Tester (D-MT) have introduced legislation to keep the VA on target and transparent on its roll-out of the new $16 billion commercial electronic health record system for nine million veterans.

The VA is currently undertaking a decade-long transition to bring veterans' health records into the 21st century by ensuring that veterans can have access to a seamless electronic health record across the VA and Department of Defense health systems.

Blackburn and Tester introduced the VA Electronic Health Record Advisory Committee Act to establish a third-party oversight committee to help monitor the implementation of the new electronic health record system.

The 11-member committee would operate separately from the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense and would be made up of medical professionals, information technology and interoperability specialists, and veterans currently receiving care from the VA.

The committee will analyze the VA's strategy for implementation, develop a risk management plan, tour VA facilities as they transition to the new system and ensure veterans, VA employees and medical staff, and other participants have a voice in the process. The committee will meet with the VA Secretary at least twice a year on their analysis and recommendations for implementation.

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