The Veterans Affairs Department has put a hold on 45 information technology projects, the bulk of which are healthcare IT programs that are either behind schedule or over budget.
The announcement by Eric Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Roger Baker, assistant secretary of IT, came a little over a month after the inspector general's office at the VA released a blistering report on the chronic failure of an IT centralization effort at the VA.
That report noted that 37 of the 40 IT projects submitted for the 2009 budget year to the White House Office of Management and Budget were on the office's “high-risk ” list, meaning that the projects “were both poorly planned and poorly performing.” The holds came after Shinseki ordered a review of all 300 IT programs at the VA and the implementation of a project management protocol labeled the Program Management Accountability System, according to a VA news release. The projects will be reviewed to find out whether they should be continued, according to the release.
Several key VA clinical programs are on the stop-work list, including the second phase of the Clinical/Health Data Repositories project, and several laboratory and pharmacy system re-engineering efforts.