The Veterans Affairs Department and Kaiser Permanente have announced a pilot health information exchange project in San Diego to be launched next month that would allow doctors and others at the two organizations to share specific health information about local patients electronically between the VA's VistA electronic health-record system and Kaiser Permanente's HealthConnect system. Letters to San Diego-area veterans will go out this week inviting them to participate in the exchange, according to a joint news release.
“No exchange of information will occur without the explicit permission of the individual patient,” the release stated. "This partnership demonstrates the power of a large-scale EHR that safely connects several care systems,” said Andrew Wiesenthal, associate executive director of the Permanente Federation, in the news release. “Securely digitizing America's healthcare information is only the first step in realizing the cost saving and improved quality benefits possible with healthcare technology."
It was unclear at deadline whether the two organizations will use the federally produced and open-source Connect interface to facilitate the data exchange.