Scott Blackburn, former acting CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, discusses what VA initiatives should be prioritized and what might happen with the VA’s electronic health records contract.
The Veterans Affairs Department has faced several IT challenges over the last decade. According to Fedscoop, The VA hasn’t held a permanent CIO since the end of the Obama administration, and over the last few months, the agency’s leadership has been in flux. Scott Blackburn, former acting CIO at VA, says that the department’s next secretary and IT leader will have a lot on their plate. “The Department has the right near term priorities, which is get the EHR contract finalized and the Choice bill follow-through. I believe as a department those are the two near term things. But, in the longer term, they need to pay attention to the people, to the talent, to the vacancies, to succession planning, there’s an awful lot of people that have been leaving. It is an aging workforce,” said Blackburn. “You expect transition to happen at the change of the administration. It’s a little bit more difficult when it happens in the middle of a term, which is when I came in.”