Veterans Affairs CIO Eyes Budget Increase

J. Nicholas Hoover | Information Week | February 21, 2012

While IT spending across most of the federal government would be flat next year under President Obama's budget released last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would see a 6.9% increase, with much of the uptick going to improved electronic health records (EHRs).

The coming year will see "major investments" in an ongoing project to integrate Department of Veterans Affairs health records with Department of Defense health records, VA CIO Roger Baker said in an interview last week. Currently, more than 100 VA employees are staffed to the effort. More than 20 projects are in planning mode, including single sign-on, an effort to unify VA and DOD pharmaceutical systems, and more.

Baker announced last year that the integrated health record system would eventually reside in the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA's) cloud computing infrastructure. Currently, according to Baker, DISA is working with VA to stand up VA's own VistA EHR system in a cloud environment. "Hospitals don't need to know and shouldn't care where their VistA system is running," Baker said...