Indianapolis VA joins pilot HIE project

September 16, 2010

The Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis will partner with the Indiana Health Information Exchange, the largest health information exchange organization in the United States, to securely exchange electronic health record (EHR) information using the Nationwide Health Information Network in the third of three pilot programs announced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the delivery of veterans? health information.

The Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Indianapolis will partner with the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), the largest health information exchange organization in the United States, to securely exchange electronic health record (EHR) information using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) in the third of three pilot programs announced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve the delivery of veterans' health information.

The other two pilot projects involve facilities treating veterans in San Diego and Hamptons/Tidewater, Virginia.

"This [Indiana] pilot is one more step taken to deliver a virtual lifetime electronic record for our nation's veterans and service members," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "This new technology allows safer, more secure, and private access to electronic health information, which in turn enhances our ability to continue providing veterans with the quality care that they have earned."

Veterans who receive healthcare from the VA and from selected hospitals and providers in the Indianapolis area will be invited to sign up for the pilot with the understanding that their information will not be shared without their authorization. Veterans who participate will enable their public and private sector healthcare providers and doctors to share specific health information.

The pilot is planned to run through 2012 with the goal of advancing EHRs for the VA and other community providers.

Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NHIN is designed to provide a technology "gateway" to support interoperability standards and a legal framework for the secure exchange of health information between treating physicians when authorized by a patient. Clinicians from the participating organizations can share authorized patient data to ensure around-the-clock access to health information in an effort to increase accuracy, efficiency, and safety as well as avoid redundant care and testing.

Because more than half of America's veterans and active-duty service members receive some portion of their healthcare outside of VA or Department of Defense facilities, interoperability between federal agencies and the private sector is essential to provide the best care for veterans, service members, and their dependents, according to the government.

The IHIE is made up of collaborative partnerships with Regenstrief Institute, private hospitals, insurers, local and state health departments, and other healthcare organizations that affect nearly 70 hospitals and long-term care facilities providing care to more than 6 million patients.