Friday, Dec 7, 2012 – A few weeks ago, a friend and colleague approached me about entering a Challenge being sponsored by the White House. The purpose of the Challenge was to re-design the electronic medical record currently being used by over 6 million patients receiving care through the Veterans’ Administration. The medical records are difficult to interpret and the goal was to make it easier for Veterans to access and understand their medical history.
My friend sent me the link to the Challenge in an email that simply said “Interested?” Two weeks later our team had grown to four people and after working night after night until the wee hours of the morning, we submitted our design.
Each of us wrote a short biography and described what motivated us to enter this Challenge. The common thread was respect for our Veterans and the desire to improve their care. For two of us, it was personal; my friend’s uncle was killed in the Korean War and his remains were only recently recovered. My father was a soldier for over 29 years and fought in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. We each wanted to give a little of ourselves to make a small improvement, a positive change to the lives of the women and men of the US Armed Forces who have ‘paid it forward’.
The designs are being reviewed by a panel of judges this week and they’ll announce a winner on Dec 12, 2012. Wish us luck, but regardless who wins the Challenge we believe our Veterans will benefit from the results and that’s what it’s really all about.