The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced plans to expand its Virtual Lifetime Electronic Health Record pilot program by adding six new data exchange sites, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 9/9).
In 2009, VA and the Department of Defense launched the VLER program to share health data on veterans and active military personnel with civilian health care providers (iHealthBeat, 8/17).
The program initially launched in California before expanding to two sites in Virginia, one in Washington state and one in Indiana.
The latest expansion will bring the total number of pilot sites to 11. The new sites will strive to facilitate data sharing between:
- Asheville VA Medical Center in North Carolina and Western North Carolina Health Network;
- Grand Junction VA Medical Center in Colorado and several rural Utah hospitals through the Utah Health Information Network;
- Minneapolis VA Health Care System and several Minnesota hospitals through the Community Health Information Collaborative Health Information Exchange;
- Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, S.C. and several Charleston-area hospitals through the South Carolina Health Information Exchange;
- VA Puget Sound Health Care System and MultiCare sites in Washington state; and
- VA Western New York Healthcare System in Buffalo and several Buffalo-area hospitals through the HEALTHeLINK health information exchange.
The VLER expansion sites are scheduled to begin operating this fall (Modern Healthcare, 9/9).
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said the agency aims to have 50,000 veterans agree to participate in the program by the end of this fiscal year (Merrill, Healthcare IT News, 9/8).