Keynoter Barclay Butler PhD, Assistant Director of the Health Care Administration for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) kicked off the AFCEA Bethesda Maryland Chapter Health IT Summit “IT Modernization: Improving Healthcare Outcomes” on January 29, 2019 in Bethesda Maryland.
Dr Butler in support of the Military Health System, leads DHA’s concerns with financial operations, medical affairs, healthcare operations, and information operations. The goal for the military is to increase readiness, provide for better health, better care, and at the same time, produce lower costs.
As he reports, the military system is unique and has to plan and provide healthcare for over nine million beneficiaries. This requires more than 250,000 healthcare professionals and support staff to serve the military’s eligible beneficiaries.
In accordance with the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, changes are in effect to eliminate duplicate health service functions and to maximize efficiencies when carried out by DHA.
As Dr Butler commented, “In moving forward, DHA will have more responsibilities for the Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) in terms of budget matters, IT, healthcare administration, and management. The goal is to move MTFs towards a more regional management delivery system.”
He is enthusiastic on the use of blockchain. As he explained, “DHA is anxious to apply blockchain to the healthcare space. Blockchain could be used be used to report on clinical trials by increasing transparency of information for medical practitioners and clinical researchers.
He further explained, “Blockchain can give patients and doctors healthcare records that are secure via blockchain transactions and effectively track drug and devices from the MTFs from manufacturers to patients. He noted “By using blockchain, facilities, private hospitals, clinics, laboratories, plus other facilities will be able to communicate with greater ease to each other.”