The Innovation Initiative will allow employees to enter health information technology ideas in a variety of categories, such as engaging Veterans in their care, helping medical providers, increasing transparency, and improving workflow. A series of screening panels will review the suggestions. Assistant Secretary Baker and Dr. Gerald Cross, VA’s Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Health, will select the top 25 ideas. "VA's health IT system has always been a collaboration among its community of health care users and a dedicated IT staff,” said Cross. “Many components of our electronic health records system originated in innovations from our health care workforce. This new competition offers employees the opportunity to make VA even more open and effective.”

We're seeing early success: VHA’s Innovation Initiative: Momentum Makes History:

With the Honorable Secretary Shinseki and Under Secretary for Health Dr. Petzel expressing their support and endorsement of the VHA’s Office of Health Information (OHI) employee-based Health Information Technology (HIT) Innovation Initiative, it was exciting to see the numbers continue to grow throughout the web-enabled Innovation Initiative. As of the closing, 2/28/10, the HIT Innovation Initiative boasts over 44,000 users who submitted more than 6,500 ideas, made over 9,700 comments and cast more than 552,000 votes.