VA explores interoperability with private hospitals

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In addition to ensuring interoperability with the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs is exploring ways of enabling patients to take their digital records with them to private hospitals, according to FedScoop.

VA is working with the White House's Office of American Innovation on ways to become interoperable with private facilities, acting CIO Scott Blackburn said Thursday in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's IT Subcommittee.

Since the agency opted for Cerner, it will be completely interoperable with the DOD, which began its transition to Cerner earlier this year. However, no commercial solution currently exists to provide 100 percent interoperability in the private healthcare sector.

But, VA said the EHR vendor is a member of the CommonWell Health Alliance, an industrywide group of healthcare providers that promote interoperability. This could help the VA reach its data-sharing goals.

"They have their network of private hospitals," Mr. Blackburn said, according to FedScoop. "But it won't give us 100 percent [interoperability]."

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