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Surafeal Asgedom, chief modernization officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Melissa Glynn, assistant secretary for enterprise integration at VA, discusses the office’s modernization strategies, and why there’s more to modernization than tech upgrades.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ office of modernization is making changes at the department to make operations run better. The office’s initiatives range from improving customer service to overseeing the electronic health record upgrade. Surafeal Asgedom, chief modernization officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says that modernization doesn’t just mean replacing technology.

“We are on the cusp of an organizational transformation. A lot of people think this is technology, but it is really making sure employees have the ability to adopt these new systems. It’s really at the core of providing great care for our veterans,” Asgedom said.

Melissa Glynn, Assistant Secretary for Enterprise Integration, Department of Veterans Affairs, says that the office’s modernization strategies are prioritizing customer service for the veterans they serve.

“Some of the things we are doing with our EHRM program team and the Veteran’s Health Administration as they go through the implantation is focused on building a cadre of super users,” Glynn said. “People are joking and calling them ninja super users to make sure that there’s a focus on not just thinking about technology but thinking about how the implementation will change the interaction with our clinicians, with the veterans who use the system, and making sure that we really can work with integration, with the Department of Defense and with our community providers.”

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