Veterans Health Administration runs competition for health IT ideas

Agency asks employees and contractors to submit and vote on innovations

The Veterans Health Administration is asking employees and contractors to submit, rank and vote on ideas for creative new health information technologies.

The Veterans Health Administration Innovation Initiative was launched Feb. 5 and will run until Feb. 21, according to a news release. The Innovation Initiative asks for ideas in categories including engaging veterans in their care, helping doctors and hospitals, increasing transparency, and improving workflow.


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The contest is being billed as an employee-based health IT competition to spur transformation of electronic health records at the agency. The Veterans Affairs Department has been developing and using its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) digital health record system for more than a decade and is developing the next-generation HealtheVet software as well. The VA also is working with the Defense Department on a seamless Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record for each service member.

Employees and contractors for the Veterans Health Administration and the VA’s Office of Information & Technology are invited to submit, comment on and vote on ideas. The top 100 ideas will be selected and their authors will be invited to submit full proposals.

Acting VA Undersecretary for Health Dr. Gerald Cross said many components of VistA originated in ideas from the VA’s health workforce. “This new competition offers employees the opportunity to make VA even more open and effective,” Cross said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Fri, Feb 19, 2010 Peter West Virginia

Mobile Health (mHealth), Genomic Informations Systems integrated with their EHR, PHRs with Social Media, Health eGames, Wearable Systems, Health Apps, Implantable Solutions, these are just some of the key innovative applications and technologies they need to be pilot testing and investing in today. The VA VistA system needs to be continually enhanced by integrating these solutions into it in an incremental fashion.

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 oh10101

Chat with the folks at OLPC foundation, MIT Media labs, CMU, Stanford, CalTech computer and medical sciences. There are some real good low cost medical technology idea that need money.

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