Integrated Electronic Health Record and HIE’s
A Unique Opportunity To Think Globally and Act Locally
An effort is underway to develop an Integrated Electronic Health Record (iEHR) that would be used by two federal agencies in support of a common constituency. This effort in which the federal government is targeting over $4 billion to modernize more than 125 functional modules currently part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VistA or the Department of Defense Military Health System’s AHLTA into a single Integrated Electronic Health Record used by both agencies is unprecedented. Long desired, the effort is now supported by an Integrated Project Office, designated funding, an envisioned architecture, and a development roadmap.
Meanwhile, the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT advances the adoption of electronic health records by private providers and supports the goal of robust health information exchange at a local, state, and national level. Health information exchange activities at the local and state level are struggling as stakeholders strive to find the use cases that will deliver real value to the providers, patients, and payers (private and public). Consensus has not developed as to what the prioritization of HIE services should be in order to drive adoption, deliver value, and impact community-based care by lowering costs and improving quality.
However, maybe an opportunity exists to bridge these two issues. The recipients of care within VA and the MHS receive 40-60% of that care from private providers. Even though that care constitutes only approximately 10% of the care provided by a private provider, very few providers would decline the opportunity to share health information on patient visits with the VA and DOD MHS. The Integrated Project Office has developed an iEHR Capability Sequencing Plan through 2014 to get to iEHR Capability in Norfolk, VA and San Antonio, TX. As we seek to figure out what HIE services should be prioritized within community-based HIE’s, we should consider synching the services with those capabilities that are key components of the iEHR that drive coordination of care for our military servicemen and women, veterans, and their families. They deserve no less!
Eric J. Klos is founder of Healthtechture, a business consulting services firm offering strategic planning, marketing, business development, capture management, and proposal support to companies targeting Federal Health IT initiatives and those that operate in the HIE market space (consulting firms and HIE technology vendors). He can be contacted at: email@example.com