MHS, Navy CIOs Open Up About iEHR

Tom Sullivan | Government Health IT | June 14, 2013

In a surprisingly frank conversation about iEHR, CIOs of the Military Health System and the U.S. Navy offered a glimpse into how their organization makes large IT decisions, most notably concerning the EHR it is looking to acquire.

“Our legacy systems are eating us alive in terms of cost of support and maintenance,” MHS CIO David Bowen said. “We’re spending 95 percent on legacy systems which only gives us 5 percent for modernization. That’s pretty deplorable.”

What’s more, Bowen explained during the Government Health IT Conference and Exhibition closing keynote here that sequestration could mean taking another $5 billion out of the MHS budget in 2014 — creating an obviously challenging backdrop against which MHS and the DoD are trying to address the whole issue around its EHR and the joint iEHR project with the VA, as well the department’s role in other military health IT initiatives such as the Healtheway HIE, the OSEHRA open source custodial agent, and the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER).