Veterans Affairs Deputy CIO and CISO, Dominic Cussatt stated that as the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department is approaching IT Modernization with a strong aspiration to advance systems, mainly when it comes to EHR (Electronic Health Records), the agency is taking care about not to shut down existing systems too early.
Cussatt said that he thinks all of the work that they did in the last three years has positioned them well. He added that doing all of this has set them up nicely to ingest the vast application they are about to carry into their very massive network, and referenced the new EHR program that Cerner Corp. is developing for the agency. However, VA is not putting its legacy EHR system, VistA out to pasture just yet, a decision that is very much deliberate. Cussatt pointed out that VistA has been a very successful and important system for their agency. It had an infrastructure that was amenable to adding applications and functionality, which would extend across their huge enterprise. He added that they are very cognizant of that and taking more of time to account for everything that is out there, all the capabilities that it’s bringing to their workforce and their veterans.
Cussatt said that retiring legacy systems is just one of five main goals of VA’s IT department. On the Cloud services, Cussatt stated that VA intends to be hostile, the agency has shifted their many dozens of apps and seeking to shift more to the Cloud. He also pointed out that the agency is focused on using FedRAMP-authorized products. On the Cybersecurity facade, he described that VA’s enterprise Cybersecurity strategy has 35 plans of action, decomposed into more than 3,000 line items in an integrated master schedule. He also noted the formation of a strategy branch within the CISO’s office as a key factor to thwart backsliding on the agency’s security posture. He also highlighted VA’s efforts to advance data management.