1. Lasome, Caterina PhD, MBA, RN, CPHIMS
  2. Grant, Greg RN, MS, MPM
  3. Struck, Diane K. MS, RN, CPHIMS

Article Content

Background and Significance:

A study was commissioned by the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Secretary of Defense to conduct a feasibility assessment of a joint inpatient electronic health record (EHR) solution. The need to modernize the VA's VistA system and the need to implement an enterprise inpatient EHR across the Department of Defense (DoD) introduced a unique opportunity to investigate the feasibility of a common solution. A vendor-led assessment included a base period followed by two option periods. Co-task managers were assigned by the DoD and VA.


Specific Aims:

The first phase of the study focused on assessing clinical feasibility. The second phase focused on evaluating potential technical solutions that could satisfy the DoD/VA joint inpatient requirements.



This study used a feasibility analysis.



The study outcomes recommended pursuing a common services strategy.


Lessons Learned:

Stakeholders of the DoD and VA have complementary, but not identical, missions, goals, and objectives. The size, scope, and complexity of the DoD and VA healthcare systems are unprecedented and require forward-looking strategies that are still under development. Challenges included intra-agency and interagency communications and a critical shortage of skilled SMEs (clinical informatics and technical) to support the study. Recommended steps for implementation as well as the role of the clinical informatics expert will be discussed.


Section Description

We are pleased to share the paper presentation abstracts from the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics, Informatics at the Point of Care: A Barrier or a Bridge?, held at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, July 22 to 25, 2009. The program, chaired by Dr Judy Ozbolt, was a great success. Each of the following abstracts was selected for presentation by a peer-review committee.