Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Kuster Applauds Secretary Shulkin Remarks on Moving to Commercial IT Record System for VA

Mar 8, 2017
Press Release
Last month, Kuster wrote to Shulkin urging the adoption of a commercially tested system

(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) applauded last night’s remarks by Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin about the need for the VA to move toward a commercially tested IT record system. Last month, the heads of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Chairman Jack Bergman (MI-01) and Ranking Member Annie Kuster (NH-02), wrote to Shulkin urging him to adopt a new commercial electronic health record system for America’s veterans rather than update a woefully outdated and inefficient system.

I’ve come to the conclusion that VA building its own software products and doing its own software development inside is not a good way to pursue this,” said Secretary Shulkin at last night’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing. “We need to move towards commercially tested products. If somebody could explain to me why veterans benefit from VA being a good software developer, then maybe I’d change my mind. But right now we should focus on the things veterans need us to focus on and work with companies who know how to do this better than we do.”

“We know that the VA'S IT systems are woefully out of date and in dire need of improvements, especially the VA’s health record system,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “It’s also clear that the VA’s sole focus should be caring for our nation’s veterans, not trying to develop software that’s out of its scope of expertise. I’m pleased Secretary Shulkin recognizes the need to move to a commercially tested IT record system and I look forward to working with him on this effort.”

For nearly two decades, the VA has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to update its health record system without support from the private sector. Transitioning to a commercial health system will save the VA millions of dollars and finally achieve the goal of seamless operation with the military, an achievement crucial to the health of America’s veterans.