VA CIO James Gfrerer: 3 insights on the agency's health tech developments

Department of Veterans Affairs CIO James Gfrerer detailed the agency's progress on IT initiatives as well as his goals to enhance veterans' digital health at an April 10 American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council event, Government CIO Media reports.

Mr. Gfrerer discussed the following VA health IT projects:

EHR transition: The department is working on rolling out a $16 billion Cerner EHR, which will transition the VA to the same records system as the U.S. Department of Defense. The contract extends 10 years.

"[The VA is] re-engineering around common datasets now to have more of a whole architecture around that data and around the benefits that will flow from that in the future," Mr. Gfrerer said, according to Government CIO Media. Mr. Gfrerer referred to the project as a "catalyst for fundamental change for delivering veteran-focused care."

Telemedicine: In fiscal year 2018, the VA completed more than 1 million video-based telemedicine visits, an increase of 19 percent year over year. That number is expected to rise, Mr. Gfrerer said. The agency's partnerships with private companies like T-Mobile will help expand their telemedicine services and make data prices more affordable, Mr. Gfrerer added.

App migration to the cloud: VA aims to move 350 apps, which is about half of the department's portfolio, to the cloud by 2024, Mr. Gfrerer said. The agency is also looking to partner with more applications developers to create apps that give veterans access to their health information directly from their personal devices.

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