In a meeting held on 30th September the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments made a progress that is finalizing deadline for having interoperable electronic health record systems, according to the Government Accountability Office. However, GAO told that the inter-agency office that oversees the program needs to improve its capabilities. GAO investigators found in a study that although the departments have made progress in creating the DOD/VA Interagency Program Office, that particular office is not effectively positioned to be accountable for the project. It was shown in the study conducted from April to July, that the office isn’t uting key information technology management responsibilities for planning, scheduling and measuring the project’s performance.
In a hearing before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Valerie Melvin, GAO’s director of information management and human capital issues, summarized the findings of GAO’s upcoming report on the study. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2008 directed DOD and VA to jointly develop EHR systems or capabilities that are fully interoperable with each other by the end of fiscal 2009. The law also established the interagency program office. For putting the programme in place a group of clinicians from VA and DOD established six interoperability objectives. In addition, GAO said, VA and DOD have not made enough progress in establishing the IT management capabilities that are the specific responsibility of the interagency program office.