Whether it is a solo medical practice, rural hospital, or massive health system, sharing medical data securely between the complicated web of electronic health records (EHRs) is an ongoing challenge that both big and small healthcare providers face. As one of the largest health care delivery systems in America, interoperability is not a new concept at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In fact, in VA facilities enterprise-wide, our Veterans are benefiting from healthcare interoperability that is happening on a massive scale not only within the agency, but also with Department of Defense (DoD) facilities around the globe. Clinical data exchange between VA and DoD has been ongoing in some form or another since the early 2000s, but a major overhaul in 2016 replaced legacy data sharing services with a state-of-the-art, HL7 FHIR-based system which makes DoD clinical data from around the world easily accessible to VA clinicians in their existing desktop applications
A clinician in need of an otoscope to check an ear. A nurse in need of a syringe to deliver medication. A surgeon in need of a sterilized scalpel to perform surgery. All these individuals have something in common – a need for timely medical logistics support to ensure they have the medical materiel they need to do their job in an efficient, effective manner. For the Department of Defense, achieving this can be challenging as they support one of the largest active militaries in the world. So how does a modern military succeed at providing responsive medical logistics for service members stationed around the globe?
Nearly one year ago, Secretary David Shulkin of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the VA’s electronic health record (EHR) is moving away from custom built software products and development in favor of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions to provide for Veteran healthcare. This shift in the VA’s approach to software development represents a challenging decision: whether to build custom software systems from a general-purpose programming language, or whether to buy existing COTS solutions that seem to fit business needs and user requirements. In fact, many businesses outside government face this same difficult question, whether they are large corporations or small startups. It can be a dilemma to determine which route to choose.
As a child, playing “telephone” could lead to hilarious misunderstandings. There were some positive lessons to be learned from playing this childhood game such as crafting a strong message, relaying your message to a group, using your voice to speak clearly, being a good listener and working as a team. Yet, these subconscious learning outcomes were not the reason most would play the game and in fact, it was rather disappointing when the message remained unaltered by the time it got to the last person in the chain. It was much more entertaining when the message mutated into some distorted version of the original phrase. However, the same enjoyment cannot be found in the workplace. Clear and continuous communication is often a business pain point for Government and contractors alike. Distorted messages and misunderstandings can cost time, energy, money and, on the odd occasion, hurt feelings.
Ellumen’s science team is excited to announce that the team had a paper for poster presentation accepted for the 6th International Workshop on Computational Human Phantoms (CP-2017), which will be held August 28-30, 2017, in Annapolis, MD, USA, at the Loews Hotel. The main sponsor of the event is The Consortium of Computational Human Phantoms (CCHP). Updates on developments for computational human phantoms are expected along with discussion of applications in computational modeling and simulations for biomedical imaging, radiation dosimetry, treatment planning, and regulatory submissions.