VA teams up with Indiana HIE for data exchange

By Johnathan Warner
10:29 AM

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis will partner with the Indiana Health Information Exchange on a pilot to securely exchange electronic health data via the Nationwide Health Information Network.

The pilot is planned to run through 2012.

"This pilot is one more step taken to deliver a Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record for our nation's veterans and servicemembers," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  "This new technology allows safer, more secure, and private access to electronic health information, which, in turn, enhances our ability to continue providing veterans with the quality care that they have earned."

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Veterans who receive healthcare from VA and other selected hospitals and providers in the Indianapolis area will be invited to sign up for the pilot, allowing them to have their public and private sector healthcare providers and doctors share specific health information using secure, and private electronic means, never without the patient’s prior authorization.

Using the Nationwide Health Information Network, clinicians from participating organizations can use the network’s capabilities to facilitate access to critical health information, improving accuracy, efficiency, and safety and avoiding redundant care and testing, said Shinseki.

That more than half of the United States veterans and active duty servicemembers receive part of their healthcare outside of VA or Department of Defense facilities means that interoperability, such as what is provided by this partnered system, is very important for effective communication between federal agencies and the private medical sector to serve such patients and their dependents.

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