The Department of Veterans Affairs is pressing forward with its virtual lifetime electronic record initiative by opening a fourth pilot site for the program.
The Spokane [Wash.] VA Medical Center and Fairchild Air Force Base are partnering with Inland Northwest Health Services to exchange health information electronically and increase interoperability among private-sector providers and the military health system. Like the VA’s three other sites, the Spokane pilot will use Nationwide Health Information Network, or NHIN, standards.
Inland Northwest includes 4,000 physicians, 450 clinics and physician offices, and 3.5 million electronic medical records. The health system was designated a Beacon Community, and awarded a $15.7 million grant over three years to develop a network of information exchange among providers while demonstrating the value of health information technology in a region. That federal program, managed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, or ONC, is funded through the 2009 stimulus law’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or HITECH, Act.