- Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) thinks the best way to ensure that the Department of Defense's upcoming $11-billion EHR is interoperable with the VA's Vista platform is to have a contest, in which the first DoD bidder to create an interoperable solution wins $50 million, reports Politico.
- Roe re-introduced a bill that offers the reward as a hedge against the possibility that the DoD might wind up with a high-priced EHR that still can't function with the VA's open-source platform.
- The DoD has stated on numerous occasions that its primary goal with their EHR is interoperability with the VA, but according to a Roe staffer, the agency is "missing the most important feature of a new EHR system—that it be compatible with the VA system so that service members can have a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life."
This seems like an off-the-wall idea, but it's not a joke. In fact, given private vendors' track record on interoperability, new approaches like this one may be what it takes to get it done. If the prize money can ensure that $11 billion of taxpayer money isn't spent on something that doesn't work, it's probably worth a try. After all, $50 million is pocket change when set against the chance of wasting massive dollars on EHR systems that don't talk to each other.