Sentara Healthcare and the Veterans Administration to share information
Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare and the Veterans Administration have begun a project that shares information on veterans treated at Sentara health-care facilities.
Sentara said the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) project allows Sentara facilities in Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and the VA to securely share patient information from electronic medical records in “read only” modes. The goal of the program is to improve veterans’ continuity of care and patient safety as they receive treatment by both health-care systems.
Veterans must opt into the program to allow their information to be shared.
“Hampton Roads has one of the largest military retiree populations in the country, and many VA patients receive care from Sentara,” Bert Reese, senior vice president for information systems with Sentara Healthcare, said in a statement. “We can help improve continuity of care by sharing timely and accurate information with the VA.”
Up to 40 percent of care provided at Sentara facilities is for veterans, including emergency care, highly specialized surgeries and treatment of complex conditions.
Dr. Katherine Gianola, a physician with the Department of Veterans Affairs, said in a statement that having information from Sentara “helps us make better decisions and avoid duplicating tests and procedures.”
Sentara said VLER is an important factor in the Accelerating Access to Care Initiative. Under the initiative adopted last May, if VA patients cannot be seen within 30 days, or they live more than 40 miles from a VA center, they can seek care in the private sector. Secure sharing of electronic information helps facilitate timely care.