Five Steps Toward Digital Transformation at the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is keenly focused on improving the healthcare and general services that support our military veterans. Incumbent on these improvements is the integration of leading edge technologies that digitize and automate processes for efficiency along with important security enhancements.



ONE: Implementation of Electronic Health Records

The Department's efforts to modernize the way they store and access records for the nine million veterans they care for into a comprehensive electronic system has been well documented. These efforts involve upgrading all 1200+ VA facilities' existing systems to ensure better continuity of care, and are currently focused on moving EHR data to a cloud system that will be interoperable with the Military Health System. The ultimate goal is to ensure service members can seamlessly and digitally transition from DOD to VA health care, instead of needing to carry around stacks of paper forms as is current practice.

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A Check-Up on Healthcare Events

Healthcare is a critical topic in the federal market. From the Affordable Care Act to HIPAA compliance, to cyber threats, the federal healthcare community is facing an enormous amount of change and outside pressures.[Tweet "Federal healthcare community is facing an enormous amount of change. #GovEventsBlog"] While providers need (and want) to focus on delivering more personalized medicine leading to better patient outcomes, all of these "back-office" issues need to be addressed to help them do just that.

Like any topic, there are a wide range of events that meet the education and training of the healthcare community. HIMSS is widely recognized as the must-attend event for the healthcare IT community. But beyond this annual event, there are many other options for the government health community to learn about and discuss the latest trends in care and health IT management.[Tweet "There are many event options for the government health community. #GovEventsBlog"]

We've pulled together a number of valuable events happening through the end of this year that span the wide range of topics that impact the federal health community. Continue reading

Gutting travel, conference budgets invites problems

Originally posted on Federal Times

Federal travel and conference spending is predictably tanking under the combined pressures of severe budget cuts and the repercussions of a string of high-profile conference scandals that started in April 2012.

The scandals -- embarrassingly lavish conference events held by the General Services Administration, the Veterans Affairs Department and the IRS that were brought to light by inspectors general investigations -- provoked a quick and harsh response from Congess and the White House. Travel and conference activity across government slowed to a trickle within weeks.

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More conferences fall victim to tight budgets

Originally posted by Eric Yoder on The Washington Post

Add two annual conferences on federal employee benefits to the list of meetings that have fallen victim to the current fiscal climate.

The Office of Personnel Management told agencies Wednesday that "based on the current budgetary situation facing Federal agencies," it is canceling its 2013 Benefits Conference, which last year was held in June, and its Fall Festival of Training, held last year in November. "Our survey of headquarters benefits officers indicated very few benefit officers will be able to attend this year," it said.

"We will work to develop alternative training opportunities such as webcasts during the rest of this year. While they will not be a complete, nor in some ways sufficient, substitute for the conference, they will allow us to continue providing training for benefits officers on critical issues," the message to agencies said.

The conferences are geared toward educating federal benefits officers about the details of employee benefits, improving their counseling skills and similar instruction.

The General Services Administration similarly recently canceled several conferences, also citing expected low attendance. Under guidance from the Office of Management Budget and internal policies, agencies are limiting spending on travel, training, conferences and similar expenses.

OPM said it plans to conduct a benefits training event in Pittsburgh next spring.

29 Jan CTOvision Podcast

Originally posted by Ryan Kamauff on CTOvision

Play CTOvision Podcast featuring Daniel Mintz. Daniel Mintz is the Principal and Founder of ESEM Consulting and former CIO of the Department of Transportation. He is a lifelong technologist and avid Washington Capitals fan.

We discussed the following stories:
DOD, VA improve eBenefits portal
Government Appetite Growing for Twitter User Data
86,800 network printers open to the whole internet
Odierno: budget is greatest threat to national security
Google Announces Pwnium 3, Ups Ante and Offers $3M+ in Rewards
New bug makes moot Java's latest anti-exploit defenses, claims researcher
Pentagon to boost cybersecurity force gets agile with new alpha site
Government IT's Move to Cloud Slowed by Security Concerns, Misconceptions