Q&A: Harris CEO Jim Traficant on the 'genius' vision of open source in VA and DoD iEHR

Tom Sullivan | Government Health IT | June 11, 2012

By fostering an open source ecosystem around their joint iEHR, the DoD and VA are not only tapping into less expensive software and development, but also training industry on how to work with them,  sparking innovation and, ultimately, reaping the rewards of those IT advancements.

Harris Corp. works with the DoD and the VA and recently won a contract to manage the SOA piece of the iEHR puzzle. Government Health IT spoke with Harris CEO Jim Traficant about what the services approach enables the VA and DoD to accomplish, the “genius” vision of working with the open source community on a project so vast in scale and projects where the federal government has succeeded by using this model.

Q: Harris was awarded an $80 million contract to develop the SOA portion of the VA DoD joint iEHR – what will an SOA enable that the agencies could not otherwise manage?

A: When we look at where the DoD and VA are headed, joint is the answer. They need a common platform to do a better job on continuity of care as service members move from the DoD into the VA system. So the service-oriented architecture is foundational to that future state of an integrated electronic health record, and will be the architectural foundation upon which all of the other capabilities will be integrated...