Jul 09 2014
I got these photos of some of the original membership cards issued to Clayton Curtis, MD, who is currently with the VA’s Health Informatics’ Knowledge Based Systems as well as the VHA-Indian Health Service Interagency Liaison for Health IT Sharing.
Long story to be told here, but the bottom line is that the VA and the Indian Health Service have been collaborating for 30 years now, while DoD worked really hard to make its systems incompatible. I was an informal consultant to the IHS while I was at the VA, and found them to be a very dedicated, but underfunded, agency. So, the cooperation made a lot of sense.
When I went to work on the DoD version of the software (called Composite Health Care System), things were completely different. They stripped out the communication capabilities I wanted to use to coordinate systems, and made other changes that would make the DoD version incompatible with the VA.
I wish this could be written off as ancient history, but I don’t think so. DoD is continuing to do its thing with an $11B “rip and replace” waterfall effort, while VA seeks to take an evolutionary approach.
There has to be a better way. For starters, the folks in Washington should recognize the power of informal organizations active in their formal organization charts.
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