The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense rolled out a joint health information exchange, allowing the agencies to securely access and share patients’ medical record data with participating community healthcare partners.
The joint HIE is available to all VA and Defense Department healthcare providers as well as the community partners. Patients can choose to opt out of sharing so their health records will not be exchanged through the program.
“The recent COVID-19 pandemic underlines the importance for clinicians on the front lines to quickly access a patient’s health record, regardless of where that patient previously received care,” said Neil Evans, MD, the interim director of the federal EHR modernization program. “As the DOD and VA implement a single, common record, the joint health information exchange and the associated expansion of community exchange partners is a critical step forward, delivering immediate value to all DOD and VA sites.”
The VA and Defense Department are each implementing Cerner EHR systems, which are designed to be interoperable. However, both agencies paused their EHR projects earlier this month to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.