VA has prototype of Aviva EHR system

Web-based Aviva is the next generation of VistA

The Veterans Affairs Department has developed a prototype Web-based electronic health record system named Aviva as the next generation of its two-decade-old Veterans Health Information System Architecture (VistA) medical record system, according to a senior official.

The Aviva working prototype was delivered on Jan. 4 with access to VA and Defense Department data, new search functionalities not found in VistA and a “scalable and reusable foundation,” Peter Levin, chief technology officer for the VA, said in a presentation March 8 to a workgroup of the Health and Human Services Department’s Health IT Standards Committee.

Aviva is designed to be modular and to allow for health data exchange through HHS’ Nationwide Health Information Network. Aviva is modular, efficient, scalable and Web-based, and it has modern programming language, Levin said.

It represents the next generation of VistA, which is built in the MUMPS programming language. Maintaining and overseeing VistA has presented numerous problems for the VA, including installing upgrades on tens of thousands of computers, creating enhancements and responding to regulatory changes, and in finding staff members who are knowledgeable in VistA’s outdated programming language, Levin said.

Health data exchange with VistA has been impeded by an inadequate user interface, need for extensive user training, highly specialized and outdated programming language, and lack of common standards, he added.

Aviva is being designed to be easily understood by a variety of users, to easily scale with expansions of the veteran population, to achieve a high standard for availability and reliability, and to integrate electronic records from multiple sources, Levin 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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