On the 9th of April 2009 President Obama trumpeted the use of electronic health records for the military and the convenience of these records for veterans. This new form of organization for military records will start when someone enters service and will be transferred to the VA when appropriate. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense are coordinating this venture together. They are framing and compiling the Joint Virtual Lifetime Record.
The President explained that when someone is discharged from military service his or her military records would be electronically transferred to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA already has its own electronic health record system called VistA. Their system is broadly known to be a top electronic health records system in the U.S. This system has the ability to dispense to any hospital, health center or VA hospital worldwide.
President Obama also praised electronic health care in general as an advanced operation that provides doctor, nurses, and other medical personnel with the information they need to avoid medical errors and give the best care possible. The Department of Defense budget for health care includes $400 million dollars of which a part is for the electronic health system that will be shared with the VA.
The President isn't alone in praising EHR as related to Veterans Affairs. A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine in the early months of 2009 praise the VA's success in setting up an exhaustive EHR system. The Veteran's Affairs utilization of an EHR system has vastly improved the nature of patient care according to Dr. Ashrish K. Jha of Harvard University. Speaking for the authors of the study he emphasized VA hospitals have used electronic health records for more than a decade with dramatic associated improvements in clinical quality. The findings published in the medical journal were discussed at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs site where more information can be obtained.
Meanwhile Nextgov reported on April the 10th of 2009 that the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington has reached success with testing of a health record system that lets military patients look at their data in the DOD's EHR. This was a test project and it will now include Navy National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., plus a civilian hospital in Virginia that serves the military. This information was released at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference.
The huge success of the VA's electronic health records system points to the fact that it is time to modernize all health care records for everyone. When prestigious doctors have studied a system and say that it delivers a higher quality of records that in turn help health care professionals give improved health services, what else needs to be said? The VA's track record spans more than a decade; time has shown that a meticulous use of EHR tremendously improves the medical treatment people receive. Medical people should be meticulous anyway so this should be a great system for them to use.
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