The Department of Veterans Affairs reached a major milestone this year in its efforts to link with Military Health System clinical information technology systems by achieving 100% electronic access to health information transmitted by the Pentagon when patients leave the service, VA officials say.
The VA surpassed its goal of 50% compliance in this area, according to the department's performance report to the president and Congress for fiscal year 2003, released this week. The federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
According to the report, this connectivity means that the Federal Health Information Exchange and Government Computerized Patient Exchange between the VA and the Department of Defense are "fully installed and functioning at all sites and will further ease the transition of veterans from active service to civilian life."
The Federal Health Information Exchange calls for a governmentwide standard for electronic medical records and clinical IT communications. The VA still is working on connectivity with the Indian Health Service, a component of HHS.
The exchange is one of five major VA performance goals for easing transition of discharged military personnel from the Military Health System into the Veterans Health Administration. VA officials say they met four of the five standards during fiscal 2003.