VA to launch iPhone EHR app this summer

By Brian Dolan
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Veteran Affairs iPhone mockupThe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to rollout an electronic health record (EHR) app for the iPhone that clinicians will begin using at the veterans' medical center in Washington DC this summer, according to a report in Government Health IT. The initial deployment will include as many as 1,000 mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads at the DC-based centers and others as needed.

The mobile app, which Government Health IT referred to as the “clinic in hand” app, is currently being tested by physicians at the DC facility while on their rounds.

"The EHR app is really powerful. It is reported to be a significant time saver, and I would use the phrase morale improver, but primarily it makes it clear that we’re using the latest technology at the VA again and not just older technology,” the VA's CIO Roger Baker said in a teleconference with reporters last week.

Baker said the VA will roll out the app once it has a more robust mobile device manager (MDM), which it first mentioned last October when it announced plans to deploy as many as 100,000 tablet devices. The VA also plans to develop an EHR app for use on Android devices, too. It used to be that only BlackBerry devices were supported by the VA.

Last July when Baker first mentioned the mobile EHR initiative, he noted that the app would be read-only: “We will be highly confident that anything that is storing information on the device has encryption, and in all of the cases we’ll be satisfied that the authenticated user is able to view information but not download it on to the device,” Baker stated at the time during his monthly briefing.

More details, including the VA's WiFi plans, over at Government Health IT