Military Times Opinion: Continuity of medical care for Veterans jeopardized by VA

“Since 1982, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have been trying to create a simple, interoperable system that could transfer patient information for service members transitioning from the DoD into the VA health care system. This process has been anything but smooth, starting with paper medical records being attached to gurneys each time a patient was moved to the squandering of hundreds of millions of dollars on numerous attempts to create an electronic health records (EHR) system that could work in both agencies…”

“On Aug. 21, 2019, the VA Office of Inspector General (VAOIG) released the results of an audit regarding the digitization of medical records for veterans at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. The OIG found that as of July 19, 2018, there was a significant backlog of “paper documentation that measured approximately 5.15 miles high and contained at least 597,000 individual electronic document files dating back to October 2016.” The scanning of medical documents was not always subject to the proper reviews, including quality and legibility…”

“The VHA has both a massive backlog of medical records and insufficient resources to ensure the accuracy of the medical records that have been and are waiting to be transferred. Unless patient information is 100 percent accurate, there is no assurance that the care veterans receive as they transition from DoD healthcare to VA healthcare will be what they need and deserve…” Read the full article here.

Source: Continuity of medical care for veterans jeopardized by VA – By Deborah Collier, October 17, 2019. Military Times.



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