VA to try cloud-based collaboration tech for doctors

The Veterans Affairs Department has plans to equip up to 134,000 VA medical personnel with cloud-based collaboration tools that integrate with existing systems.

Department officials published a request for information to vendors at the Federal Business Opportunities website to solicit input from vendors by Sept. 9.

The initial goal is to establish a pilot project for about 5,000 medical personnel, with the potential to expand to 17,000 doctors, 36,000 medical residents and 81,000 other staff members, the RFI stated.

Related story:
VA to allow clinicians to access cloud applications

The department intends to add VA users to vendors’ established cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, which will integrate with existing VA systems, such as Exchange Calendaring, SharePoint and Active Directory.

The vendor cloud must have meet Federal Information Security Management Act Moderate Certification requirements.

“VA’s doctors need a new effective and intuitive collaborative tool, to improve communications, while also reducing data breaches,” the notice stated. “By implementing a pilot of cloud SaaS-based collaborative tools the VA would be able demonstrate how collaborative tools will improve veteran care, reduce the amount of time the VA’s doctors spend on collaboration, and prevent further data breaches which have been caused, in part, due to the lack of a VA approved collaborative tool. “

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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