In this news roundup, Future Healthcare Today shares recent stories about the Department of Veterans Affairs and IT, as well as changes to the military healthcare system. Learn about the nomination of James Paul Gfrerer to lead the VA’s IT department, how the VA is managing connected devices to simplify healthcare delivery, and how the NDAA is pushing the centralization of military healthcare in this latest health IT roundup:
Trump Nominates James Gfrerer to head VA IT
President Donald Trump has nominated James Paul Gfrerer to be the next head of IT for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If confirmed by the Senate, Gfrerer, who spent two decades in the Marine Corps and more recently served as an executive director in Ernst & Young, LLP’s cybersecurity practice, will serve as VA’s CIO and assistant secretary for information and technology. Gfrerer’s confirmation would put an end to the VA Office of Information and Technology’s year-and-a-half run without an official CIO. At a recent House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, lawmakers criticized the lack of consistent leadership at the VA, particularly in roles that handle the department’s electronic health record (EHR) modernization contract. Read more about the nomination here.
How The Department Of Veterans Affairs is Managing The Risks Of Connected Healthcare
Connected devices have been an integral part of the healthcare industry for several years now, and the Department of Veterans Affairs has put these connected devices to work to simplify the delivery of care and automate essential processes. However, while there are obvious benefits to using connected devices, they also present a growing risk. The issue stems from the sheer variety of wired and wireless devices from multiple manufacturers that can connect to the network. With more than 55,000 networked medical devices in use, the Department of Veterans Affairs has made aggressive moves toward solving this issue. Read about the security risks associated with modern healthcare networked devices and how the VA hopes to solve them here.
NDAA Pushes Department of Defense Healthcare Toward More Centralization
The House and Senate’s final agreement on the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) does not go as far as abolishing the military services’ own medical commands, but it does push the Military Health System in the unmistakable direction of more centralization and less reliance on Army, Navy, and Air Force-specific ways of delivering health care. The legislation is designed to leave the Army, Navy, and Air Force’s respective health commands in place, but moves many of their responsibilities to the Defense Health Agency. It also gives the DHA director more authority over the operation of military treatment facilities and orders the agency to reorganize those hospitals and clinics into a new regional management structure. Read more about the centralization of military healthcare here.
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