The Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) program, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) have worked together to make veteran health information shareable between health providers.
Ideally, what they are calling the health information exchange (HIE), will provide veterans with more efficient health care services. Brought on by the need for quicker services due to COVID-19, the hope for this change is that by making one common health record, clinics can better understand patient needs. So, if one of your health care companies holds information about you, but you visit a clinic of a different name, your health information will now be shared between each provider.
Many veterans may find this beneficial as it could speed up the administrative process when going to a clinic or hospital. It may also help doctors better perform their duties because they will have your health history available to them.
The information exchanged between health care providers
The exchangeable health information includes that which is related to:
- Various medical notes
Since the change has gone live in April, it has connected thousands of pharmacies and hospitals and tens of thousands of clinics. It has also provided community information for nursing homes, labs and federally qualifying health centers.
What if I do not want my information shared?
Of course, the VA recognizes that not all veterans may want their information passed around. For veterans who do not want their information shared between health care providers, there is a way to opt-out. Note that there is no deadline for opting out.