(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – For more than a decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs has trumpeted the light at the end of the tunnel of the "seamless transition" of veterans' medical information from the Department of Defense.
"During this time," John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), wrote in a letter to Chuck Hagel, the newly installed Secretary of Defense, "billions of dollars have been expended in a fruitless search for some magical software that will please the military services IT people and will be compatible with the VA's somewhat antiquated but entirely efficient VistA electronic health record.
"Billions more can potentially be spent by your department unless and until someone shines the bright lights of fiscal responsibility and what seems obvious to many of us: that VistA is what DoD is looking for, but doesn't want to acknowledge it."
Rowan noted that a petition has been created on the White House "We the People" site that simply states that DoD should adopt the electronic health record of the VA.
"This would ensure the continuity of care for veterans and save the government billions of dollars in duplicate software development. As you are aware," he wrote, "the VA's electronic health record has been recognized as a leader in the field."
"We are urging our members to electronically sign the petition; 100,000 signatures are needed to get the administration to consider action. We would hope, however, that you will take action to take a good hard look at the position of your department in this long-running saga," Rowan's letter concluded, "because VVA is not the only VSO that is fed up with the myth of a seamless transition."
To sign the White House "We the People" petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/have-department-defense-adopt-electronic-health-record-department-veterans-affairs/BHVYlCBh