DoD, VA adopt single healthcare logistics information system

Under a new strategic partnership, the Department of Veterans Affairs will have access to the Defense Logistics Agency’s worldwide procurement system to acquire medical and surgical products, among other items.

According to Monday’s announcement, the agreement will have a direct positive impact on quality of care, patient safety and access to care with the adoption of a single integrated end-to-end healthcare logistics information system, rather than operating two disparate systems currently used by the DoD and VA.

Further, the agreement combines resources from both agencies creating a centralized ordering system for VA, which is meant to reduce risk, waste, fraud and abuse in purchasing medical equipment and supplies as well as enhance the VA’s supply chain management modernization efforts.

“The adoption of a single healthcare logistics system by VA and DoD highlights the commitment of both organizations to improve military and veteran healthcare by increasing the access and quality of care they receive,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a written statement. “This is a huge step forward in our efforts to transform VA into a modern, high-performing organization by simplifying operations and leveraging DoD’s supply chain system to support our veterans.”

VA sec nominee.jpg
Robert Wilkie, secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. The VA has lacked a permanent leader since David Shulkin was ousted as secretary in March and Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson withdrew in April, following allegations of improper behavior in his role as White House physician. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

“On behalf of DoD, we are proud to be a value-add to VA on behalf of America’s veterans,” said Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, director of the Defense Logistics Agency. “Leveraging economies of scale, like the ones outlined in this agreement, help us reduce costs for the military services and other government partners like VA.”

Recently, a pilot site at the VA’s Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago completed deployment and user adoption of DLA’s Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) commodity ordering system.

DMLSS is envisioned as one of three systems designed to replace VA legacy IT infrastructure. The other two are a new Cerner electronic health record system and a new financial management system.

“As we deploy an integrated health record, we are also collaborating with DoD on an enterprise-wide adoption of DMLSS to replace VA’s existing logistics and supply chain solution,” testified Wilkie in March before a Senate committee hearing. “VA’s current system faces numerous challenges and is not equipped to address the complexity of decision-making and integration required across functions, such as acquisition, logistics and construction.”

“In the future, DMLSS and its technical upgrade LogiCole will better enable whole-of-government sourcing and better facilitate VA’s use of DoD Medical Surgical Prime Vendor and other DoD sources, as appropriate, as the source for VA medical materiel,” he added.

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