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VA and Kaiser Permanente Invite Veterans to Participate in Health Record Pilot Program
Date:11/25/2009

Working Together to Share Records Safely, Improve Care

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Kaiser Permanente today announced an exciting program designed to improve care and services to our Nation's heroes. VA and Kaiser Permanente are launching a pilot program to exchange electronic health record (EHR) information using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) created by the Department of Health and Human Services.

"The ability to share critical health information is essential to interoperability," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki. "Utilizing the NHIN's standards and network will allow organizations like VA and the Department of Defense to partner with private sector health care providers to promote better, faster and safer care for Veterans."

This week, VA and Kaiser Permanente will send a joint letter to Veterans in the San Diego area who receive care from both institutions, to invite Veterans to participate in this first-ever pilot program. Veterans, who respond and ask to participate, will enable their public and private sector health care providers and doctors to share specific health information electronically, safely, securely and privately. This initial pilot is planned to begin in mid-December 2009.

"This partnership demonstrates the power of a large-scale EHR that safely connects several care systems. Securely digitizing American's health care information is only the first step in realizing the cost saving and improved quality benefits possible with health care technology," said Andrew M. Wiesenthal, MD, associate executive director of The Permanente Federation. "The reality is that most people receive care from multiple providers. Without the ability for caregivers and patients to have access to their data, all of the time, there is the possibility for wasted time and resources duplicating tests and p
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