David Shulkin

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VA Joins NATE and the Blue Button for Consumers (NBB4C) Trust Bundle

Press Release | National Association for Trusted Exchange | June 9, 2016

The National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) today welcomed its newest member, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). By joining NATE and participating in the NATE Blue Button for Consumers (NBB4C) Trust Bundle, VA is demonstrating its commitment to enabling its Veterans to send their health data to the consumer-facing application (CFA) of their choice. 

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A 40-Year 'Conspiracy' at the VA

Arthur Allen | Politico | March 19, 2017

Four decades ago, in 1977, a conspiracy began bubbling up from the basements of the vast network of hospitals belonging to the Veterans Administration. Across the country, software geeks and doctors were puzzling out how they could make medical care better with these new devices called personal computers. Working sometimes at night or in their spare time, they started to cobble together a system that helped doctors organize their prescriptions, their CAT scans and patient notes, and to share their experiences electronically to help improve care for veterans...

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Biden Gives a Peek at What’s to Come for Cancer Moonshot

Anna Edney | Bloomberg Politics | June 29, 2016

A corporate-government partnership to improve U.S. veterans’ access to personalized cancer treatments will highlight a nationwide series of gatherings and events Wednesday detailing of Vice President Joe Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” program. IBM Corp. will donate access to its “Watson” supercomputer -- best known for beating human champions on the television game show “Jeopardy!” -- to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The supercomputer will help provide facilitate oncology treatment for those who have served in the U.S. military, according to a statement from the White House...

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Cernering the Market

Mike Farahbakshian | Fed Health IT | July 10, 2017

After years of speculation and rumors, in a move that surprised absolutely no one, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs is moving to Cerner Millenium to replace its home-grown VistA electronic health record. On the surface this makes sense, because of DoD’s move to Cerner in 2015 and an overarching VA desire to move from custom software to COTS software. However, SecVA’s decision is only the beginning of an extremely long path, as DHA is finding with its MHS GENESIS project. Moreover, VA has a broader scope than DHA. Unlike DHA, whose primary goal is to provide a medically ready fighting force, VA handles a slew of additional tasks, including...

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eHealth Exchange Expands Support for Disabled Veterans and Their Families

Press Release | The Sequoia Project | November 11, 2016

The eHealth Exchange, an initiative of The Sequoia Project, celebrates Veterans Day powering the launch of a Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health IT initiative to speed disability determinations for veterans by enabling all Social Security disability case processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA facilities. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense’s Military Health System (MHS) and the eHealth Exchange expanded cooperation to enable electronic health data sharing for more than 9.4 million active duty service members, veterans, retirees, and families served by the MHS...

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Feds' Rampant Use of No-Bid Contracts the Essence of Corruption

David Williams | The Hill | August 1, 2017

Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) David Shulkin just awarded a contract worth billions of dollars to Cerner, a health technology company. Secretary Shulkin, who was seeking a firm to build the VA's new electronic health records system, awarded the contract without even considering proposals from other companies...

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Feds' Rampant Use of No-bid Contracts the Essence of Corruption

David Williams | The Hill | August 1, 2017

Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) David Shulkin just awarded a contract worth billions of dollars to Cerner, a health technology company. Secretary Shulkin, who was seeking a firm to build the VA's new electronic health records system, awarded the contract without even considering proposals from other companies. Such "no-bid" contracts are an outrage. Companies seeking the government's business should compete on price and quality — just like firms that operate exclusively in the private sector...

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Government IT contractor sues VA over Cerner Deal

Arthur Allen | Politico | August 23, 2017

CliniComp, a major Pentagon and VA electronic health records provider, is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs over Secretary David Shulkin's decision to offer a no-bid contract to Cerner to replace the agency’s VistA system. The suit brought Friday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims charges that the VA violated federal contracting law by making the June announcement without first conducting market research or assessing the cost of the contract. It demands that the judge restrain the VA from awarding the contract to Cerner until the protest is resolved.

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On Capitol Hill, Concerns Remain About DOD-VA Interoperability

Aisha Chowdhry | FCW | July 13, 2016

Senate appropriators grilled top Veterans Affairs officials about whether the military and VA electronic health records systems are cooperating. VA CIO LaVerne Council, VistA Evolution Program Executive David Waltman and Veterans Health Administration Deputy Chief Medical Information Officer For Strategy and Design Jonathan Nebeker testified at a July 13 hearing before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies. DOD's director of the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office, Lauren Thompson, and Government Accountability Office Director for Information Management and Technology Resources Issues Valerie Melvin were also at the witness table...

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Trump Says VA’s EHR Woes Are Finally Fixed. Not Quite

Evan Sweeney | Fierce Healthcare | July 28, 2017

To hear the President of the United States tell it, the Department of Veterans Affairs' frequently maligned EHR system has been fixed in just a few short weeks. During a speech on Tuesday in Ohio, President Donald Trump praised the work of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in reforming the agency responsible for providing medical care to the nation’s veterans. He specifically underscored the efforts his administration has taken to improve the VA’s EHR system...

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U.S. Coast Guard Seeks Ideas for Its Own EHR System

Samantha Ehlinger | Fed Scoop | April 24, 2017

The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for a solution to digitize its electronic health records that would be more interoperable with Defense and Veterans Affairs’ systems. The service is looking for a “computerized, integrated Electronic Health Record Acquisition” that would be more interoperable with both departments’ systems, according to a Request for Information published Sunday. The solution would replace the agency’s “manual paper health records,” and would need to protect personally identifiable information and personal health information, according to the RFI...

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VA and VistA: Can They Be Fixed?

Aisha Chowdry | FCW | July 27, 2016

The Department of Veterans Affairs is rushing to make changes to its IT infrastructure and systems before the next administration enters the White House. And skeptical lawmakers, oversight bodies and outside experts are cautiously optimistic about the eventual outcomes. The key words, though, are "cautiously" and "eventual"...

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VA and VistA: Can they be fixed?

Aisha Chowdhry | FCW | July 27, 2016

pivoting away from VistA, the agency's homegrown electronic health record system, would be a major shift for the VA. Former VA CIO Roger Baker said VistA is the only EHR designed by doctors, not technologists. "That is the real power of VistA, and it remains the real power of VistA," he added. The system, rooted in 1970s code, is designed to assist doctors in their daily work. Providers at the various VA medical facilities nationwide customize it for their specific needs.

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VA Announces Launch of 'Lighthouse Lab' at HIMSS18 Conference

Press Release | US Department of Veterans Affairs | March 7, 2018

...the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the launch of a “beta” version of its Lighthouse Lab, a computer platform offering software developers access to tools for creating mobile and web applications that will help Veterans better manage their care, services and benefits....Considered the “front door” to VA’s vast data stores, Lighthouse is the department’s application programming interface (API) management platform, and functions similar to a waiter’s role in a restaurant — the critical link communicating orders to the “kitchen.” For VA, the kitchen is the system that will prepare the order then deliver it back to the waiter, or API.

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VA Lays Out Plans for Cloud-Based Digital Health Platform

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | December 16, 2016

The Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a blueprint for a cloud-based technology platform that will integrate veteran data from VA, military and commercial electronic health records, as well as apps, devices and wearables, so that the information is available to providers in real time. While the VA is still finalizing plans for how it implements the Digital Health Platform (DHP), the agency has a strategy in place that is seen as the future path for providing next-generation healthcare to millions of the nation's veterans...

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