Over the past couple weeks, the VA has made significant strides in their efforts to transition to a more effective and integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.
For years, the VA, DoD, and USCG have shared medical data through a joint Health Information Exchange (HIE) system, which includes all providers in the Tricare network.
Within the past few years, however, laws have been passed that increasingly allow veterans to receive treatment from more and more civilian providers, resulting in increased difficulty for both the veterans and the providers to ensure that all treatment records are properly shared between providers as needed.
Multiple separate records systems makes medical record sharing and receiving incredibly difficult, and especially stressful for Veterans needing their records to support their disability claim.
In the first big step to remedy the record-sharing issue with approved civilian providers, the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) office announced a partnership with the civilian-based CommonWell Health Alliance network that connects community providers across the nation.
Furthering their attempts to create a “seamless health care experience for Veterans” (Secretary Robert Wilkie), the VA launched on October 24th the first implementation of their new Electronic Health Record system at some of their main facilities in the Pacific Northwest.
Providers at these facilities, including Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, will be able to access and update a complete, centralized patient record through this single EHR system.
The VA’s goal is to have this new EHR system fully implemented at all of their facilities by 2028.