Dear Jon Stewart,
I'm a huge fan of your “Daily Show,” but last week, with your segment, “The Red Tape Diaries,” you and your staff waded into the swamps of health information technology, made more dense and impenetrable by the Defense and Veterans Affairs bureaucracies.
By the sound of it, your hearts were in the right place, but you made a hash of a couple of things.
One topic covered by your segment was the alleged lack of interoperability between the VistA and AHLTA electronic health-record systems at the VA and DoD.
The other was the backlog of disability benefits claims at the VA, currently in excess of 900,000 claims and growing. A backlog, I might point out, that's exacerbated by the time it takes the Defense Department to round up and deliver to the VA all the medical records needed to document a service-related injury. It's a broken element that you didn't mention.