Shinseki Details VA’s Health Care
September 5, 2011
On August 31, Secretary Shinseki
spoke at the 93rd Annual National Convention of the American Legion in
Minneapolis, MN. In his speech, the Secretary recognized the
contributions of all generations of Veterans in the defense of our
Nation and discussed VA’s progress over the past 2 years plus in
providing Veterans with the health care and benefits they have earned.
Approximately 4,000 Veterans attended.
Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki
highlights include remarks from President Obama, HVAC Chairman Jeff
Miller, Congressman Tim Walz, and video remarks from Secretary of State
Clinton. While in Minnesota, Secretary Shinseki visited the VA Medical
Center and St. Paul Regional Office. Secretary Shinseki also stopped by
the Minnesota State Fair with Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Al Franken,
and Congresswoman Betty McCollum, where they met with Veterans and
visited outreach booths. VA photo by April Eilers.
In related news, the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) has completed an important milestone on its joint
path with the Department of Defense (DoD) to create a single electronic
health record system for servicemembers and Veterans. OSEHRA, the Open
Source Electronic Health Record Agent, has begun operations and will
serve as the central governing body of a new open source Electronic
Health Record (EHR) community.
"We developed our open source strategy to engage the public and private
sectors in the rapid advancement of our EHR software, which is central
to the care we deliver to Veterans and servicemembers and to our joint
EHR collaboration with the Department of Defense,” said Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “With the launch of OSEHRA, we begin
the implementation of our strategy and we look forward to the creation
of a vibrant open source EHR community.”
As part of the initiation of OSEHRA operations, VA has contributed its
current EHR, known as VistA (Veterans Integrated System Technology
Architecture), to seed the effort. OSEHRA will oversee the community of
EHR users, developers, and service providers that will deploy, use, and
enhance the EHR software.
Individuals and organizations interested in participating in OSEHRA
(www.osehra.org) are invited to join
through the community website. Established as an independent non-profit
corporation during its initial phase of operation, OSEHRA is putting in
place the framework and the tools that will enable the public sector,
private industry, and academia to collaborate to advance EHR technology.
documents describing key framework components, such as the design of its
code repository and the definition of its software quality certification
process, are available on the OSEHRA community website. Community
feedback is welcome as the OSEHRA team finalizes these designs in
preparation for launch of full technical operations this fall.
The design of OSEHRA is being led by The Informatics Application Group (tiag)
under a contract awarded by VA in June 2011.
Moving to an open source model invites innovation from the public and
private sectors. It is an important element of VA’s strategy to ensure
that VA clinicians have the best tools possible, and that Veterans
receive the best health care possible.