VA CIOs explore new focus for programs

Newly appointed chief information officers at the Department of Veterans Affairs are looking to change the focus and direction of major automation programs for benefits delivery and health care. Newell Quinton, CIO at the Veterans Benefits Administration, said his organization has begun to focus on

Newly appointed chief information officers at the Department of Veterans Affairs are looking to change the focus and direction of major automation programs for benefits delivery and health care.

Newell Quinton, CIO at the Veterans Benefits Administration, said his organization has begun to focus on telecommunications services that will allow veterans to more easily access benefits information.

The VBA has traditionally ignored the importance of telecom and focused on developing applications internally, something he intends to change.

"We have been remiss in not moving telecom forward as we looked at ADP systems," Quinton said last week at a conference sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association International. "Veterans should be able to avail themselves of services at any point of entry in our system. Without an aggressive telecom structure, that will not occur."

He said the department will issue a request for proposals for a system to integrate the VBA's telecom and data infrastructures "not before April 30." VA procurement personnel are analyzing vendors' comments on a draft RFP issued in February.

"Telecommunications offers the greatest opportunity to have an impact on the veteran community," Quinton said. "A veteran, wherever he or she may be, should be able to access his or her [records] and have a dialogue with us."

At the Veterans Health Administration, CIO David Albinson said he will rethink the organization's approach to opening up its internally developed Decentralized Hospital Computer Program (DHCP) to incorporate commercial products. Albinson said that effort, known as the Hybrid Open Systems Technology (HOST) program, does not address long-term VHA requirements.

DHCP "is getting a little long in the tooth," and the system should be either upgraded, integrated with commercial products or replaced, he believes.

Albinson ruled out HOST as a solution to updating the VA's hospital architecture.

"HOST would allow commercial software to hook into DHCP," he said. "My feeling is that was a rather limited charter and begs the question: What will we do five or 10 years from now?

"Technology is moving so fast, and we have to look ahead at what's going to be next," he added. "We are trying to get ahead of that. Quite frankly, we haven't made any decision on how we will do that."

Albinson and his staff were expected late this month to begin discussions on how to best address the question.

Frank Lalley, the VA's associate deputy assistant secretary for telecommunications, said the department will alter the way it has procured local telecom service for VA medical centers.

VA officials this month released a request for comments on the TeleChoice program, the department's first attempt to buy telecommunications service for the medical centers through a centralized procurement.

Lalley said the department will buy switches, peripherals, integration services, site-preparation services and cabling through one or more contracts available to all VA medical centers.

The equipment and services would be procured through purchase orders as opposed to multiple-year contracts tying users into iron-clad deals with vendors.

"In the past, we bought telephone systems at local medical centers one by one," Lalley said. "The complexity of contracting has caused us a great deal of headaches in the past. We are trying to take the bureaucracy of contracting out of the process."

He added that he has been conferring with officials at the General Services Administration to determine whether services offered there could meet the VA's needs.

Lalley said he hoped to award TeleChoice by the end of this year.

"The sooner we can get it in our hands, the sooner we can get away from the long, tedious process we have on our hands now," he said.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.