Sunday, November 29, 2009

VA & Kaiser to Share Records

The Department of Veterans Affairs and Kaiser Permanente are launching a pilot program to exchange electronic health record information using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). The pilot program will connect Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect ® and the VA’s electronic health record system VistA. These are two of the largest electronic health record systems in the country.

“Utilizing NHIN’s standards and network will enable organizations like the VA and the Department of Defense to partner with private sector healthcare providers to promote better, faster, and safer care for veterans,” according to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki.

This week the VA and Kaiser will contact veterans in the San Diego area that receive care from both institutions to participate in this first-ever pilot program. This will enable the participating veterans to provide their records to both their public and private sector healthcare providers and enable their doctors to share specific health information electronically.

The program will guard patient privacy, provide for data security, plus the individual patient will need to give permission for others to see their records. The veterans’ access to care will not be affected at either institution if they choose not to participate.

The initial pilot is planned to begin mid December 2009 with the Department of Defense to be included in the next phase of the pilot program in early 2010.