Why the DoD Is Building a State-of-the-Art Military Health Records System
The U.S. Department of Defense is embarking on an ambitious yet much-needed campaign to update their Electronic Health Record system.
Any knowledgeable business owner will tell you that organization and proper planning are both key when it comes to running a successful company. An ability to properly manage disposable resources and account for future increases in demand is largely what separates brands that have become household names — think Google and Amazon — from the companies that have simply gotten lost in the shuffle.
Healthcare IT News reported that the Department of Defense (DoD) took on the enormous task of modernizing its antiquated Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. The update is long overdue, and, as a result, has quickly become a tedious and expensive process — for reference, the price tag is expected to reach $11 billion when all is said and done.
But that doesn’t mean the project isn’t crucial, as it will allow the DoD to vastly improve its infrastructure and services, and ultimately keep its IT functions operational for years to come.
As far as business-related IT infrastructures go, the DoD’s system overhaul is a strong example of the benefits of proper organization and capacity planning. The data in the EHR contains 9.7 million beneficiaries and services in 2300 locations around the world. For a system this complex and valuable to its users, operational efficiency is of the utmost importance.
One specific measure taken by the DoD has been to consolidate information for the purposes of improving virtual systems management, thereby expanding bandwidth to boost throughput capacity and keep services running smoothly.
Military Health System CIO David Bowen says the primary goal is to “support our medical teams and administrators across the Military Health system with reliable tools to support patient safety, high-quality care, and access to care when they need it.”
A Better System for Today and Tomorrow
According to Mayo Clinic, what the DoD has realized is that, as the telehealth market continues to expand, the EHR must remain in-step with these new, technological developments in order to cope with growing demand and provide the best possible service to its users. This new update will enhance the system’s compatibility with current and future technologies, ensuring its ongoing viability in a constantly shifting tech landscape.
But the new EHR won’t just be more adaptable and easier to navigate — it’s also expected to cut annual costs substantially (the campaign already saved the DoD about $236 million in 2014). If this project has made anything clear, it’s that the time and money you invest in updating your IT infrastructure today will pay you back tomorrow — and then some.
Capacity Planning with TeamQuest
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(Main image credit: Army Medicine/flickr)