VA and White House Office of American Innovation personnel are working on options to improve interoperability between the VA's EHR system and civilian EHRs, acting VA Chief Information Officer Scott Blackburn told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. The VA's move to a Cerner EHR system opens access to the CommonWell Health Alliance, which promotes interoperability and facilitates sharing of EHR data, Blackburn said.
Surgeons with the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., will be treating civilians at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central to provide patients in the community with a high standard of care and to keep surgeons' skills sharp. "There is a tangible benefit to taxpayers when military surgeons take lessons learned in civilian trauma centers to the battlefield," said Air Force Reserve trauma surgeon Dr. Keyan Riley.
A Government Accountability Office report revealed that the VA spent more than $1.1 billion to develop, contract assistance for and implement the Integrated EHR and VistA Evolution programs from 2011 to 2016. "Contract data showed that the 15 key contractors that worked on both programs accounted for $741 million of the funding obligated for system development, project management, and operations and maintenance to support the two programs," GAO officials said.
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., introduced legislation aimed at modernizing the Department of Veterans Affairs' health care system. The bill includes a provision that would enable VA-affiliated providers with an active, unrestricted state license to practice telemedicine across state lines and calls for the creation of a Veterans Community Care Program and medical records sharing between VA facilities and non-VA providers.
Racism, misperceptions among health care providers, insufficient federal funding of the Indian Health Service and a lack of health insurance among Native Americans prevent some from getting the health care they need, says Margaret Moss, a member of the Hidatsa tribe who teaches at the University at Buffalo and worked as an IHS nurse. Significant percentages of Native Americans responding to polls say they have experienced discrimination, particularly in areas with large tribal populations, and many simply give up trying to get care, Moss says.
A research letter in JAMA Surgery said using evidence-based guidelines can reduce prescription opioid use following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Researchers said use of prescribing guidelines cut prescription size by 63% and did not increase the need for refills.
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