Monday, April 6, 2009

Medical Journal Praises VA Electronic Health Record

Medical Journal Praises VA Electronic Health Record

VA Continues to Lead Health Care Industry

WASHINGTON (April 6, 2009) - A recent study in the prestigious New
England Journal of Medicine singles out the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) for its successful implementation of a comprehensive system
of electronic health records.

The study's authors, led by Dr. Ashish K. Jha of Harvard University,
noted that VA's use of electronic health records has significantly
enhanced the quality of patient care. They also found that only 1.5
percent of U.S. hospitals have comprehensive electronic health records;
adding VA hospitals to the analyses doubled that number.

"VA hospitals have used electronic health records for more than a decade
with dramatic associated improvements in clinical quality," the study's
authors wrote.

VA clinicians began using computerized patient records in the mid-1990s
for everything from recording examinations by doctors to displaying
results of lab tests and x-rays. Patient records are available 100
percent of the time to VA health care workers, compared to 60 percent
when VA relied on paper records.

Dr. Michael J. Kussman, VA's under secretary for health, said VA has
"one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated electronic systems" for
patient records in the nation.

"VA's electronic health record system has largely eliminated errors
stemming from lost or incomplete medical records, making us one of the
safest systems in the health care industry," Kussman said.

The authors of the NEJM article are the latest to praise VA for its
technology and commitment to patient safety. In 2006, VA received the
prestigious "Innovations in American Government" Award from Harvard's
Kennedy School of Government for its advanced electronic health records
and performance measurement system.


Since they quit using paper records at the VA and went digital veterans health care has been improved, I have extensive healthcare issues, regardless of where I go, my entire treatment record is available to the VA doctor I am seeing, it is a vast improvement over what used to be, prior to the creation.

I will be happier when they improve the ability of the veteran to get lab work, doctors appointments etc online, via MyHealthvet being able to order prescription refills is a major advance but they need to take it to the next step and make HealthQuest or Ask a nurse or even your primary care or mental health doctors an e mail away.

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