VA, DOD add 15,000 hospitals, clinics to joint HIE

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Coast Guard linked up their joint health information exchange with CommonWell Health Alliance Oct. 9 to expand their network of providers. 

CommonWell brings a national network of more than 15,000 hospitals and clinics to join the federal HIE, which comprises more than 46,000 community health partners. 

The Federal EHR Modernization program launched the HIE in April; the HIE is available to all VA, DOD and Coast Guard health providers as well as community partners. With the network, the agencies can securely access and share patients' medical record data with other participating healthcare partners. However, patients can also choose to opt out of sharing if they do not want their records exchanged through the program. 

"The CommonWell connection means DOD, VA and USCG providers can access more information about their patients to make the best care decisions," Federal EHR Modernization Director William Tinston said in a news release. "The FEHRM drives federal capabilities, such as the expanded joint HIE to improve healthcare delivery, regardless of where patients get care." 

The VA, DOD and Coast Guard are each in the process of implementing Cerner EHR systems, which are designed to be interoperable. 

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