Tester pitches Malmstrom as center for electronic medical records

Senator: Air Force Base would be ‘perfect fit’ for new center, new jobs

(U.S. SENATE) – Pointing to the potential for new jobs, Senator Jon Tester today pitched Malmstrom Air Force Base as a “perfect fit” to house a new electronic medical records collection being developed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The U.S. Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs recently agreed to work together to develop a joint electronic health record for American service members and veterans.  The project will strengthen health care and improve veterans’ transition from military to civilian life.

The electronic medical records project will require several “repositories” across the country to store the electronic information securely.

Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont., is being considered to house one of the repositories.  A survey of the base was recently completed by federal officials and Tester has previously lobbied the Defense Department to select Malmstrom as a site for a repository—and for the jobs that come with it.

In a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing today, Tester told Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn that Malmstrom would be a “perfect fit” for one of the repositories.

“We’ve got an Air Force base in Great Falls called Malmstrom Air Force Base that we’re particularly proud of, in Montana and I think throughout the country,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “The Defense Department is looking to put a medical records repository, several of them, around this country.  Malmstrom Air Force Base is in the running.  We have got Montana State University right next to that Air Force base.  It has a phenomenal health information technology system, medical billing and coding, and medical transcription courses—it would be a perfect fit.”

Lynn pledged to get further information to Tester on the process for identifying locations for the electronic medical record sites.