6.1 DoD should treat the development of a lifetime computer-based patient record for service members as a major acquisition, with commensurate high-level responsibility, accountability, and coordination. Clear goals, strategies, implementation plans, milestones, and costs must be defined and approved with input from the end users.

6.2 DoD should accelerate development and implementation of automated systems to gather mission-critical data elements. DoD should deploy a system that fills the basic needs of the military mission first but is consistent with the architecture and data standards planned for the overall system.

6.3 DoD should implement the electronic data system to allow the transfer of data between DoD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

6.4 DoD should establish an external advisory board that reports to the Secretary of Defense to provide ongoing review and advice regarding the military health information system's strategy and implementation.

6.5 DoD should include immunization data, ambulatory care data, and data from deployment exposures with immediate medical implications in the individual medical records and should develop a mechanism for linking individual records to other databases with information about deployment exposures.

6.6 DoD should develop methods to gather and analyze retrievable, electronically stored health data on reservists. At a minimum, DoD should establish records of military immunizations for all reservists. DoD should work toward a computerized patient record that contains information from the Recruit Assessment Program and periodic health assessments and develop such records first for those most likely to deploy early.

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