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GovCIO: VA’s New Health Chief Outlines Top Priorities

Only two weeks after his Senate confirmation, newly appointed Undersecretary for Health Shereef Elnahal is eyeing a continued effort to combat COVID-19, recruit and retain a health care workforce, modernize electronic health records and promote health equity.

During the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Convention in Orlando Saturday, Elnahal detailed how the COVID-19 pandemic put strains on the supply chain and workforce at VA.

“The overall trajectory of the pandemic is still uncertain,” Elnahal said. “We’re in a situation now where the vaccines that initially came out are becoming less and less effective as the virus mutates and changes. There are vaccines on the horizon that will help protect against this virus better, and hopefully, in coming months. We’re excited to see that and we’re going to offer that to our employees and veterans across the country.” …

As VHA continues to build out new services and expand its offerings following the PACT Act, the agency will improve data sharing and exchange to leverage relevant veteran data from the Defense Department, VBA and medical centers to better understand needs and improve care delivery.

VHA will also support VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office as it continues to implement its EHR system. VHA has faced major challenges related to the EHR deployment, one of which being patient safety. This prompted VA to halt its rollout until these concerns are addressed… Read the full article here.



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