With 168 hospitals and more than 1,000 outpatient facilities, the VA is a complex network to manage and keep everyone on the same page within. But the VA isn't the only healthcare network that encounters this problem on a daily basis. In 2011 the government passed an electronic health record incentive program by the name of Meaningful Use that was part of the HITECH Act from 2009.
While Meaningful Use was a step in the right direction to help digitize healthcare information, hospitals and health systems soon realized the difficulties associated with keeping multiple facilities on the same page due to the infrastructure that these electronic health record systems were built on. While these problems were exposed early in the stages of Meaningful Use, they still exist today. The fact that these problems still exist 12 years later has even lead some to say things along the lines of, "It just signals the fact that you can't have interoperability between two different software companies" - Niam Yaraghi
Luckily, the prior statement no longer holds true. With the recent passing of the 21st Century Cures Act, a roadmap towards interoperability in the healthcare industry has been provided and will allow us to help keep all parties involved in a given patient's care journey on the same page.