WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) participated in a Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing yesterday, where she pressed Department of Veterans Affairs’ Secretary Denis McDonough on the Department’s efforts to modernize its electronic health records. Improving the VA’s electronic health records system is essential to providing veterans with the high-quality medical care that they have earned and deserve.
To watch Senator Hassan’s questioning, click here.
Senator Hassan began by highlighting the importance of veterans’ feedback as the VA rolls out a new electronic health records system, since this program will directly impact veterans’ health care experiences.
Senator Hassan also focused on how the new electronic health records system would affect Granite Staters and raised concerns that New Hampshire will be one of the last states to have this system implemented.
This timeline discrepancy between states could “potentially create problems for veterans who move from a state, like New Hampshire, that hasn’t yet implemented the new system, to a state that has,” Senator Hassan said.
The Senator pressed Secretary McDonough on the VA’s plan to ensure that VA health care professionals have consistent access to both old and new electronic health records so that veterans do not experience gaps in care.
Senator Hassan also pressed Secretary McDonough on the need to strengthen cybersecurity at the VA.
“Hospitals are obviously big cyber targets, so how is the VA prioritizing cybersecurity as it implements the Electronic Health Records Modernization program, and in its continued use of legacy systems?” said Senator Hassan.
Secretary McDonough shared that he is making cybersecurity a fundamental priority and offered to work further with Senator Hassan on strengthening the VA’s cyber defenses. Senator Hassan recently introduced a bipartisan bill that would create a cyber-training program within the VA to specifically recruit veterans for cybersecurity training programs.