Staying power of VISTA at Veterans Affairs
While plans to replace the aging Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VISTA) platform may be on the horizon, the health record-keeping software may be used at hospitals for another 10 years.
In 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced their plans to replace VISTA with an alternative system that would be shared with the Department of Defense. However, because VISTA has become so prevalent, it will be difficult to bring the replacement online in a timely manner.
“We have 170 different major medical centers, over 1000 clinics, 130 different instances of VISTA that we’re going to be replacing one at a time,” said Scott Blackburn, executive in charge at the Department of Veterans Affairs. “That implementation is going to take up to a decade.”
VA hospitals in the Pacific Northwest are already undergoing the upgrade process. Because VISTA is currently core to the mission of VA hospitals, in some cases VISTA and the new system will be co-existing at healthcare providers across the country. Blackburn says that the primary customers who will benefit from this transition are the veterans, but the clinicians will definitely see improvements.
“This is their lifeblood, this is what they do every day at work… How they capture information, this is how they diagnose treatments,” Blackburn told Government Matters. “it’s going to be critical that we get their input.”