Ashton Carter, Secretary of Defense, recently said that bringing in top IT professionals from Silicon Valley to help break the medical records logjam at the Veterans Administration is working and progress is finally being made. The integration of military medical records has been a longstanding problem that has caused a variety of problems for vets seeking medical care.
According to Carter, the Pentagon has brought in coders and other IT professionals to fix the problem. Chris Lynch, who is in charge of Defense Digital Services at the Defense Department, is said to be satisfied with the results to date. Lynch is also a former executive at Microsoft and has worked in Silicon Valley in the past. A major issue that is being addressed is improving the way data can be shared to help decrease wait times for vets seeking VA medical services.
For years, the ability to transfer records between the Defense Department and the VA has been a problem. Both entities attempted to create a single strategy but gave up on that plan back in 2013. The Pentagon then bought a commercial contract team system for $4.3 billion last year.
In addition, Carter said that he will be setting up what he calls the Defense Innovation Advisory Board. The chairman of the board is expected to be Eric Schmidt, who is also the chief executive of Alphabet – Google’s parent company. The purpose of the board will be to inform the Department of Defense on tech matters and innovations that can provide quick answers to DoD issues. It will not give advice on military operations or offer military strategies.
There will be a total of 13 members on the board, and they are expected to be people who have “excelled at identifying and adopting new technology concepts,” according to a statement.
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