President Barack Obamas new initiative to create a joint virtual lifetime electronic health record within U.S. military departments was hailed by industry and government officials as a precursor to perhaps something even bigger.
Late News: Officials hail Obama EHR plan
Initiative would create lifetime record for military
The whole idea with electronic health records is to create a seamless national network, so if this is a first step in creating a system that covers other federal agencies, thats a wonderful step forward, said Craig May, spokesman for the American Health Information Management Association, which represents health information management professionals. If successful, its reasonable to assume that private-sector initiatives will not be far behind, May said.
Obama announced that the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are working together to create an EHR that would streamline the transfer of active-duty military and veterans health records between the two departments. The departments will work together to build a system that will include medical and administrative records from throughout service members military time and into their civilian lives, according to the White House.
Obama said access to EHRs was essential to modern healthcare delivery, adding that the new system will provide a framework to ensure that all healthcare providers have all the information they need to deliver high-quality healthcare while reducing medical errors.
The presidents news release said that the new military system would serve as a model EHR system for the nation.
The Defense Department and VA plan to work in phases to identify common processes, and to develop and deploy common services. The impact of this new approach on the different systems that exist within the DOD and VA will also be evaluated, said Defense Department spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.
Glen Gardner Jr., a Vietnam veteran from Round Rock, Texas, and commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said a single, unified EHR will help ease the transition of millions of servicemen and women from DODs rolls into the VA system, which will increase their access to care and benefits, while protecting personal privacy data.
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-Calif.) commended Obamas actions to produce the technology and address other issues that confront veterans during their transition from military service to civilian life.
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