VA and Georgia Tech Collaborate on Advancing EHR Adoption

VA Sandbox Cloud and GA Tech Interoperability Innovation Lab Advance EHR Initiatives

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Innovation Sandbox Cloud and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Interoperability and Integration Innovation Lab will partner to collaborate on health IT issues and advancing the adoption of EHR initatives.

Currently a strategic adviser to GA Tech on its healthcare initiatives, Dr. Robert Koldner was lead developer of VistA during his 28 years at the VA. Dr. Koldner commented that because the VHA and GA Tech have many of the same goals, the two can leverage investments made by the VA as well as other federal agencies. “This collaboration enables decades of health IT advances by VA to be combined with investments by other federal agencies and with resources from both the state and private sectors,” Kolodner said. “Together, they create a robust, diverse education and simulation environment. We can train the health IT workforce necessary to succeed as our national health IT initiatives improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities across the nation.”

A statement from Steve Rushing, director of Health@EI2, a health care innovation initiative at GA Tech, stated that they “believe that together we can do something really unique and important. By connecting our interoperability innovation lab to the VHA’s Sandbox Cloud, we can create joint project teams to work on specific challenges, work together to address industry issues and develop best practices, and test applications designed to run with the VA’s robust electronic health records system.”

The agreement will also include the use of the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), VHA’s electronic health records system. This open source system conceptually conceived in the 1970s has claims to one of the most successful health IT systems implemented. It currently manages the 7.6 million of our veterans in the VHA’s healthcare system. They will use VistA to to test new products and solutions.

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