VA hospital links with statewide HIE to move vets beyond paper
As intrigue surrounds the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' plans for its VistA electronic health record, one VA hospital is making its own move for improved care coordination by partnering with a statewide HIE.
Providence VA Medical Center and Rhode Island Quality Institute have announced a new partnership through which providers at the VA and those across Rhode Island can now more easily share medical information to improve care and treatment for veterans.
The initiative, Health Care Coordination for Rhode Island Veterans, allows for more seamless information exchange thanks to the integration of VA clinical information with RIQI's CurrentCare statewide HIE.
Prior to the partnership, caregivers at Providence VAMC were often left in the dark about what care patients were getting from other providers in the community. Often, veterans had to gather their own paper records and carry them to their medical appointments.
Now, VA physicians can see patient data, relayed by CurrentCare, directly through the EHR, without needing to log on to another system, officials said. They can also use the CurrentCare Viewer to access additional patient information.
"Many Veterans receive care both in the VA system and from non-VA community providers,” said Paul Pirraglia, MD, chief of primary care at the Providence VAMC. "The recent integration of VA clinical information and CurrentCare really enhances our ability to coordinate complex care across multiple systems."
"This project has filled an important gap in the care and treatment of Veterans receiving care at both the VA and in community-based healthcare settings throughout Rhode Island," added Laura Adams, president and CEO of Rhode Island Quality Institute.
Clinicians at Providence VAMC – and care teams at more than 475 community-based care organizations across Rhode Island – can now more easily share information about medications, lab test results, hospital and emergency encounters and other data. They now have electronic access to imaging reports, discharge summaries, specialist consults and more.
The information comes from a national database, meaning any veteran in the U.S. who receives care in Rhode Island can have their patient information accessible to non-VA providers. In order for VA data to display in CurrentCare, Veterans must enroll in both CurrentCare and in the VA's Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record HIE program.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, founded RIQI while serving as the state's attorney general.