Hampton Roads is next military 'VLER Community'

By Peter Buxbaum
06:32 PM

Hampton Roads, Va., will be the next military community designated as a test bed for new approaches to sharing electronic health records between Defense and Veterans Affairs department clinics and local private healthcare providers.

The region is the second of three potential VLER Health Communities, areas with a heavy mix of active duty military and veterans that will serve as test bed locales for the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record project.

The VLER Communities project was designed to test a variety of local e-health record sharing networks, including those linking DOD and VA clinics, purchased care clinics, health information exchanges, community health centers and federal health agencies.

In Hampton Roads, the VLER concept will be tested with DOD and VA clinics and purchase care providers Sentara Healthcare, Riverside Health System, and Bon Secours Medical Group, according to Col. Claude Hines, program manager of the Defense Health Information Management System (DHIMS) who spoke at a Military Health System conference today.

Hampton Roads follows San Diego " the host of a recently announced pilot project to test e-health record sharing between DOD and VA clinics and healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente " as the second of several VLER communities yet to be named.

A total of three VLER regional projects are expected to be established by the end of 2010. The VA recently announced it was seeking "community coordinators" to set up VLER Communities in up to six locations by the end of the current fiscal year.

In other remarks at the conference, Hines said the Defense Health Information Management System is revamping how it manages AHLTA, the military's electronic health record system. "DHIMS manages AHLTA and CHCS as two separate systems, but we want them to work as one," he said.

CHCS, the Composite Health Care System, is a predecessor to AHLTA and is still relied upon to store some AHLTA data and perform some of its functions. CHCS has been blamed on occasion for some of the problems users have experienced with AHLTA.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> "We have a request for proposals on the street right now," said Hines. "We want to being AHLTA and CHCS together as one logical system. That way is a hospital system goes down we won't have to first figure out whether it is AHLTA or CHCS."

Want to get more stories like this one? Get daily news updates from Healthcare IT News.
Your subscription has been saved.
Something went wrong. Please try again.