VA CIO trades in laptop for iPad ... Hopes to Facilitate Physician Use - Mary Mosquera, Government Health IT



Please article and link below to article written by Mary Mosquera, Government Health IT, on Roger Baker's adoption of tablets to faciltate physician demand for wireless, mobile IT access ...

Conrad Clyburn


September 02, 2011 | Mary MosqueraVA CIO Roger Baker

Roger Baker, CIO of the Veterans Affairs Department, has traded in his laptop and is testing the iPad with up to about 200 other VA employees, mostly physicians at its medical facilities.

VA will permit employees on Oct. 1 to use Apple’s iPhone and iPad to connect to the department’s network in the course of their jobs.

“The clinicians are the real focus of this. That’s where the demand is from,” he said during an Aug. 31 briefing with reporters, adding that there will be plenty of administrative folks who will use the devices.

A number of the physicians testing them are at VA’s medical center in Washington, D.C., hospital, from whom he’s gotten very good feedback, Baker said. The other testers are at various facilities around the country and at department headquarters.

Although VA has not decided on a department-wide strategy to acquire the devices, employees will not be able to bring their own to the network, at least initially. Instead, local VA facility directors can request to purchase them out of their budgets.

Baker's iPad, which he uses emailsand all his records, is encrypted and double password protected -- the kind of protection that is the only way that VA information is going to be able to reside on these types of devices.

As part of the pilot, he also has used the viewer, an access gateway, which does not live on the device. It enables a mobile user to view and interact with information while it is displayed but not download or store it.

Baker said that switching over to the tablet has been “a fine functional change from my perspective.”