The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the organization-wide release of enhancements that allow DoD to share electronic health information with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through the Bidirectional Health Information Exchange (BHIE) and the Clinical Data Repository/Health Data Repository (CHDR) interfaces.
“These enhancements demonstrate the unprecedented level of interoperabilty that DoD and VA have been able to achieve with our electronic health record systems, and they contribute significantly to patient safety and continuity of care,” said Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for Health Affairs.
With the new enhancements in place, each agency is now able to view the other agency's clinical encounters, medical procedures, and lists of medical problems on shared patients using BHIE. This adds to the pharmacy, allergy, microbiology, and chemistry/hematology data, as well as radiology reports that were made available earlier this year. Additionally, DoD providers are also able to view combat zone data (including inpatient data) from the Theater Medical Data Store.
The CHDR software actively synchronizes data between DoD and VA repositories for patients who receive health services from both agencies. That synchronization significantly increases patient safety by enabling drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks with data from DoD, VA, and retail pharmacies. CHDR has been operating on a limited basis since late 2007, but new configuration enhancements have enabled all sites to view data on shared patients.
Providers in both agencies have more information available to support patient care decisions, and the continuity of care is greatly enhanced for the nation’s wounded warriors, from the combat zone to medical facilities here at home.