During a congressional hearing on Thursday, February 15th, a federal oversight authority sounded the alarm to legislators, indicating that approximately 250,000 former service members might face the risk of receiving medication prescriptions that clash with their allergies or could negatively interact with their ongoing treatments. This concern stems from glitches within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) newly implemented electronic health records platform.

So, fellow VA patients, I implore you to carefully check your meds from here on out.  I once received a bottle of a topical medication to be used for a skin condition, and marked on the label were the words “for heart and blood pressure.” I checked with my VA pharmacist, and they confirmed that it was an error due to the med I was taking being so close in spelling to a heart and blood pressure medication.

No Documented Harm…Yet

A VA representative, speaking at the same session, emphasized that there have been no confirmed instances of patient harm directly attributable to these data mishaps. None yet.

However, it was reported that a veteran did not receive essential prescribed medication due to inaccuracies in their medical records. Furthermore, the oversight body criticized the VA for not proactively informing patients about potential inaccuracies in their prescription data.
David Case, the VA’s deputy inspector general, voiced his concerns on technology modernization at the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s subcommittee: