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VA Information Technology: Pharmacy System Needs Additional Capabilities for Viewing, Exchanging, and Using Data to Better Serve Veterans
VHA provides health care services, including pharmacy services, to approximately 6.7 million veterans and their families. To do so, clinicians and pharmacists rely on VA's health information system. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 required VA to ensure it has a pharmacy system that is interoperable with DOD's system. A provision in Senate Report 114-57 required GAO to examine VA's acquisition and use of a pharmacy system. GAO determined whether (1) VA currently possesses a functioning pharmacy system and the extent to which the system enables data to be viewed, shared, and transferred among VHA pharmacy locations; (2) VA's pharmacy system is interoperable with DOD's, and whether this system, or the absence thereof, is impacting service members who transition care from DOD; and (3) VA has implemented its pharmacy system in accordance with health care industry practices. GAO analyzed documentation describing VA's pharmacy system; observed system demonstrations; analyzed plans and actions taken to achieve interoperability with DOD; and identified industry practices related to pharmacy systems, and compared them to VA's system capabilities.
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