WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran, applauded U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin’s announcement to discontinue usage of VistA, the VA’s internal outdated electronic health record system, and begin integrating with the Department of Defense’s records system. Senator Ernst issued the following statement:

“I have repeatedly expressed my great concern that the VA is wasting taxpayer dollars and creating duplicative, confusing programs for veterans,” said Senator Ernst. “I am pleased to hear that Secretary Shulkin will stop using this ineffective and outdated program for record keeping. The new system is designed to allow veteran’s health records to transfer seamlessly from the DoD’s system to the VA system after they leave the military. It is my hope that the VA will continue this trend, and apply the same common sense reforms to other duplicative and outdated programs in the VA, like those used for scheduling.”

During her pre-confirmation meeting with Secretary Shulkin, Senator Ernst raised her displeasure with the current failures of the VA.

On February 17th, 2017, the Iowa Senator wrote Secretary Shulkin requesting the rationale behind his decision to continue using a duplicative outdated scheduling platform, also under VistA. In their response, the VA agreed with Senator Ernst’s concerns, and stated they are only using VistA system ‘while the VA works on a more definitive solution’.