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DOD's EHR Failure Due to Poor Planning, Says GAO

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 8, 2010

Weaknesses in acquisition management and planning processes contributed to AHLTA's persistent underperformance. GAO identified four problem areas:

  • A project management plan was not established to guide DOD's execution of the system acquisition.
  • A systems engineering plan did not exist to guide the "significant complexity" of the technical development.
  • Requirements were incomplete and did not reflect user and operational needs.
  • There was no plan to improve users' satisfaction.

EHR Way Ahead is expected to address performance problems, provide unaddressed capabilities such as comprehensive medical documentation, capture and share medical data electronically within DOD, and improve existing information sharing with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

DOD said it is acting on all of the GAO recommendations. 

See also:

5 EHR Myths, Busted


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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2 comments on "DOD's EHR Failure Due to Poor Planning, Says GAO"


John Flowers (3/29/2011 at 5:00 PM)
To call AHLTA a failure is a pretty gross exaggeration. Of course there have been mistakes and shortcomings, but the system is not a failure. It is fielded world-wide and in use every day. Of course there is lots of room for improvement, but the system is being used to document over 160,000 provider-patient encounters every day. Of course there are lots of information processing failures in government and industry[INVALID]they involve systems that are never completed, never fielded, and/or never put into "live" use. That is simply not the case with the AHLTA system.

J. Kuriyan (10/12/2010 at 3:10 PM)
A similar upgrade to the Veteran's administration was also abandoned after several hundred million dollars in expenditures. In the Veteran's case several Big accounting firms guided them over the cliff. I wonder which ones did the DOD in? Does anyone keep track of these "failed" consulting companies or are we just going to chalk it up to "poor planning and execution" by unknown people? $2 billion is not chump change.