The nation’s largest health system is pledging to share veteran health data with a number of large health systems across the country to improve access to care regardless of whether it’s in a VA facility.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is making a bold pledge toward data interoperability for the nation’s 16.2 million veterans.
The nation’s largest health system announced today that it will support data-sharing with 13 community health systems across the country, enabling veterans and their care teams to access data regardless of whether it’s stored in a VA health system.
“This pledge will improve veteran healthcare by giving us seamless, immediate access to a patient’s medical history, which will help us make timely and accurate treatment decisions,” VA Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal, MD, said in a press release. “It will also empower VA to send helpful information to our partner health systems that they can then offer to veterans in their care — including information about new benefits we are offering under the PACT Act, no-cost emergency suicide care, and more.”
The health systems that will share veteran information with the VA are:
- Atrium Health
- Emory Healthcare
- Intermountain Health
- Jefferson Health
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals
- Marshfield Clinic Health System
- Mass General Brigham
- Rush Health
- Sanford Health
- Tufts Medicine
- University of California, Davis Health
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
According to the pledge, the VA will:
- Enable health system application access to authoritative VA resources to determine veteran status.
- Enable automation of benefit eligibility determination and referrals.
- Enable health system application access to identify local, state, and federal health resources.
- Enable VA application access to health-system clinical and administrative data for quality assessment and care coordination.
- Advance and implement federally recognized, national interoperability standards, privacy and security frameworks related to the executing the pledge’s commitments on information exchange and use of health information.
VA officials told the Federal News Network that EHRs have become sophisticated enough “where the next level of innovation can really happen,” including interoperability.
“The data that we’re talking about isn’t always going to be clinical data,” an official said. “We’re very interested in what’s referred to as the administrative data, which talks about the benefits a veteran could potentially qualify for.”
“We really want this to benefit the industry as a whole,” the official added. “As the technology advances, we really feel that VA has a leadership role. As the largest healthcare system in the country, the largest payer, we absolutely feel that responsibility to get out there and lead on what this could potentially look like.”
Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.
The Department of Veterans Affairs handles healthcare for roughly 16.2 million veterans through a network of hospitals and healthcare sites, including telehealth and virtual care platforms.
VA officials say EHR platforms have become sophisticated enough to enable data-sharing, and the organization wants to be at the forefront of innovation that improves care coordination and management.
The VA is pledging to share all veteran healthcare data with 13 health systems to coordinate care, with those health systems pledging to do the same.