Warrior Care: DoD, VA Share Records to Benefit Wounded Warriors, Veterans
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2008 The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are making good progress in sharing information to the benefit of wounded warriors and veterans, a senior DoD official said.
One of the chief goals of DoD-VA interoperability efforts is to supply computerized health data so providers in both departments “will have the necessary health information background to be able to provide better-quality care,” Dr. Steven L. Jones, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said here Oct. 30.
For example, DoD’s medical information on 4.5 million military patients now has been shared with VA, Jones said. “Of course, that continues to grow every day,” he said, adding that about 68,000 inquiries for medical information are conducted weekly between DoD and VA.
As DoD and VA continue their efforts to share more information, care is taken to preserve the security of patients’ medical records, Jones said.
DoD and VA have worked to improve administrative procedures related to assisting wounded troops and veterans, Jones said. He also cited improvements in providing medical information from DoD health care providers to VA case workers who assist disabled veterans.
The Military Health System, which encompasses all of the armed services, also strives to make life easier for wounded warriors and their families, Jones said. One recent initiative, he said, features teleconferences between pre-discharged military patients and families and caregivers at destination VA medical facilities.
DoD and VA also have established an interagency program office that will assist both agencies to share even more information and to work together to meet common goals, Jones said.
The Military Health System invests millions of dollars each year to upgrade its information technology capabilities so as to provide servicemembers and families the best medical care available, Jones said.
“We want to provide world-class treatment,” he said.