The Buffalo, N.Y.-based HealtheLink regional health information exchange organization has linked up with the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System to facilitate interoperability of patient medical records between private-sector providers and the VA.
The exchange and the VA will use federally developed standards for the proposed nationwide health information network to create two-way communication between VA providers at the VA and regional private-sector providers, according to Dan Porreca, executive director of HealtheLink.
"It's live for the VA being able to access community data," Porreca said. The exchange is within weeks of allowing community providers to be able to obtain medical records from the VA, he said.
"We're in the final throes of testing," Porreca said. "We're essentially live now."
The VA Western New York Healthcare System covers more than 44,000 veterans at hospitals in Buffalo and Batavia and clinics in several communities. The 7-year-old RHIO serves more than 2,000 physicians and 20 hospitals in the region.
The VA has pilot tests of interoperability connections with 12 other communities and VA facilities in San Diego; Hampton and Richmond, Va.; Spokane, Wash.; Altoona, Pa.; Asheville, N.C.; Indianapolis; Puget Sound, Wash.; Minneapolis; Charleston, S.C.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Grand Junction, Colo., Porreca said.