The Department of Veterans Affairs is working to extend the sense of urgency it adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to accelerate information technology modernization efforts and Paul Brubaker, deputy chief information officer for the account management office at VA, said that mindset involves keeping ahead of demand, Federal News Network reported Friday.
“Our motto was, basically, ‘let’s stay ahead of demand no matter what the demand was.’ If it was the telehealth visit issue, we want to make sure that we had, no matter what the circumstances were, sufficient bandwidth to support this rapidly growing demand on the infrastructure,” said Brubaker. “The cloud helped. The infrastructure upgrades helped.”
He discussed how VA’s office of information and technology adopted that mindset to equip a Baylor University hospital with network connections and other tech platforms within weeks.
“We were able to accelerate the plans that we had for digital transformation by at least two years by living through this pandemic. … And it wasn’t just about accomplishing the mission, but it was really about measurably improving our mission and operational performance as a result of this pandemic,” he noted.
Brubaker also talked about the importance of linking IT investments to outcomes and VA’s adoption of a portfolio management approach.