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Veterans Affairs Rolls Out Standard Identifier for EHRs

23-06-08-medical-story-300x223The Veterans Affairs Department announced Wednesday it has implemented a standard identifier to enable a single, lifetime electronic health record to be used from enlistment to death.

Based on the 2004 Homeland Security Presidential Directive that established common identification standards for all federal employees and contractors, the 10-digit identifier will be used in VA information systems and the department will pair it with an existing identifier in VA systems.

It will streamline information exchange efforts between Defense and VA IT systems. The identifier will be able to connect the departments’ exchanges of information on issues like joint indemnity repositories, the VA master patient index, the Defense clinical data repository and the AHLTA electronic health record system.

According to Nextgov.com, VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker explained to reporters the identifier will apply to the department’s entire universe of beneficiaries and will support data exchange for a joint project with the Defense Department called the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record for active-duty military personnel and veterans, which President Barack Obama announced in April 2009.

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