Hampton VA Medical Center
Safe and Convenient Exchange of Medical Data
On April 20 the Hampton VA Medical Center joined partners with local Department of Defense medical facilities and Bon Secours in the first substantial three-way exchange of veteran medical data during an event held on the facility campus.
This Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) innovative pilot program enables clinicians from the VA, Department of Defense and Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems, in coordination with MedVirginia, to obtain a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health using electronic health record information, including information about health issues, medications, and allergies. Clinicians from the participating organizations can now electronically, securely, and privately share authorized patient data to ensure around-the-clock access to critical health information. This immediate electronic access supports efficiency and safety and helps to avoid redundant care and testing.
“We embrace this opportunity with our partners to be on the cutting edge of a technology that will ultimately contribute to the quality of care for our Veterans,” said DeAnne M. Seekins, Hampton VA Medical Center director. “The Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program allows the patient to seamlessly move between providers with no loss of continuity of care.”
Since many of America's veterans and active-duty service members receive some portion of their health care outside of VA or DoD facilities, interoperability between federal agencies and the private sector is essential to provide the best care for veterans, service members, and their dependents.
“Our goal is to always provide the highest quality care,” say Michael K. Kerner, CEO, Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System. “The ability to electronically share health records allows our physicians to better serve those who have so proudly served our country.”
MedVirginia’s CEO, Michael Matthews, stated, “This is an exciting day in which we get to showcase our collective work to improve the flow of information among the community of healthcare providers who treat our country’s military personnel and veterans.”
With the new health data exchange capability, when a veteran visits a private health care clinician, prior history data will be available instantly to help guide the best possible treatment in any location that participates in this program. Prior to this program, patients frequently consented to sharing this information; however, it regularly took weeks or even months to receive paper health care documents. Now this information can be transmitted electronically, within minutes.
Because of the sensitivity of the information being exchanged, the program puts the highest priority on patient privacy and data security. Patients choosing to participate will benefit by allowing their doctors at any one of the institutions to obtain key health record information from other participating institutions.
Those with questions about VLER should contact VA’s VLER toll-free number at
1-877-771-VLER (8537); or DoD’s VLERinfo@osd.pentagon.mil.