Last month, the VA and the DoD signed an agreement to coordinate their new Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems. This coordination will allow a seamless flow of medical information between the VA and the DoD, and will thus make the transition from DoD to VA easier for service members. In addition, the VA will also be able to collaborate more easily with community care providers due to this improved ability to share information.
The VA will replace its forty-year-old Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture (VistA) with the new system, called Military Health System GENESIS (MHS GENESIS), that is currently in pilot phase at the DoD. Both departments will work together as they test and launch MHS GENESIS, working out the kinks and rolling it out over the next 10 years.
This collaborative system will give a comprehensive picture of a service member’s medical history, making it easier for providers to deliver better, more complete care. In addition, this comprehensive medical history may help providers identify those who may be more at-risk for problems such as opioid addiction or suicide, making earlier, life-saving intervention possible. This new system will also benefit veterans applying for disability (or appealing claims), as all of their medical history and documentation will be available from one source.
There is currently no scheduled deadline for when the MHS GENESIS will be completely integrated across the country, but it is good to know that our military members and veterans can look forward to beneficial changes being made with them in mind.