DoD, VA To Expand Health Data Exchange Pilot

Ken Terry | InformationWeek | October 30, 2012

Year-long test has already signed up 56,000 veterans; plug-and-play testing for nationwide exchange to play role in expansion.

The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan to expand their virtual lifetime electronic record (VLER) pilot, which began a year ago in 11 sites across the country. The purpose of the pilot is to demonstrate the feasibility and the value of exchanging health information between DoD and VA clinicians and private sector clinicians who care for the same veterans.

The expansion will be gradual, and no new sites have yet been selected, said Tim Cromwell, RN, VLER health program manager for the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office (IPO). IPO will choose additional sites, he said, based on the maturity and success of local health information exchanges (HIEs), as well their ability to increase adoption by veterans and give the DoD/VA "some real clear data."

To date, more than 56,000 veterans have signed forms authorizing the use of their personal health information in what used to be called the Nationwide Health Information Exchange (NwHIN) and is now termed the eHealth Exchange (EHE). About 5,000 data exchanges have occurred between private sector providers and DoD and VA clinicians, Cromwell said...