Shinseki Reaffirms Commitment To VistA EHR In Budget Hearing

Jennifer Bresnick | EHRIntelligence | April 16, 2013

Appearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs yesterday, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki reiterated his commitment to using VistA as its core system during its ongoing effort to integrate its EHR with the Department of Defense.   After enduring heavy criticism and frustration from Congress over the expensive proposition which has gone nowhere fast, Shinseki defended the VA’s $135 billion budget, which includes $3.7 billion for health IT systems.

“As far as the VA is concerned, we are committed to it,” Shinseki said, referring to the plan for both departments to adopt compatible systems, as opposed to the original idea of creating a brand new integrated EHR that would serve both departments. Shinseki and the VA have been pushing the DoD to adopt VistA, an established, proven and well-liked EHR system that is already used for millions of patients nationwide, but the DoD has been hesitant at best.