In Capitol Hill testimony, Baker touts open-source advantage

Joe Conn | Modern Healthcare | March 1, 2013

The Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs Department are budgeted to burn through $758 million during the current fiscal year to integrate their healthcare operations' various electronic health-record systems, and the soaring costs of that interoperability project led both departments to rethink their approach to achieving EHR interoperability, two top VA officials told members of Congress.

Meanwhile, outgoing VA technology chief Roger Baker made a spirited defense of the VA's plan to save money and improve its own EHR system through an open-source EHR improvement effort.

Baker, the assistant secretary for information and technology at the VA, and Dr. Robert Petzell, VA's undersecretary for health, in testimony before the House Veterans Affairs Committee put numbers and some context around an announcement last month by the Defense and VA secretaries that they would scrap plans to achieve interoperability by co-developing one new, common EHR for both departments, to be called iEHR...