VA announces EHR oversight hearing

Representatives Phil Roe, MD, R-Tennessee, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (VA), and Tim Walz, D-Florida, Ranking Member of the House VA Committee, announced the “VA Electronic Health Record Modernization: The Beginning of the Beginning”—a that hearing will take place Tuesday, June 26, at 10 a.m.

“Over the last year and a half, we’ve made great strides toward reforming VA, but the most critical work is still to come,” said Roe. “As the department embarks on the country’s largest EHR overhaul, we must ensure veterans and taxpayers are protected during the transition. Having personally gone through a transition to a new health record system in private practice, I know how much potential there is for a project like this to be a huge and expensive disruption, and Congress has a responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight throughout every step of the process. To be successful, the EHR Modernization program will also require close collaboration between VA and the Department of Defense. I appreciate the Defense Health leadership’s willingness to share their expertise, and I look forward to bringing stakeholders together through this new subcommittee.” 

The pair also announced the development of a subcommittee under the VA with the focus of conducting oversight of the EHR Modernization program and other technology related projects. The subcommittee and selection of members will occur July 12.

“I’m proud to announce with Chairman Roe the creation of a brand-new Subcommittee dedicated to overseeing VA EHR modernization in addition to VA’s many other important IT initiatives,” said Walz. “Modernizing VA’s electronic health record has been one of my highest priorities as a member of Congress. For too long, servicemembers transitioning from the Department of Defense (DoD) to VA healthcare have been unable to take their medical records with them. That is why I have said time and again that any effort to modernize VA’s EHR system ought to prioritize interoperability with DoD. Whether it is preventing disruptions in patient care, protecting the privacy of veterans, or ensuring American taxpayer dollars are invested responsibly and in a way that will improve healthcare delivery for veterans, it is important Congress is well-suited to hold VA accountable every step of the way and to ensure EHR modernization is implemented as seamlessly as possible. I applaud Chairman Roe for his bipartisan leadership on this issue and I look forward to working with him and the future members of the IT Subcommittee to ensure VA gets EHR modernization right the first time.”