Cussatt says VA Addressing Promise and Challenges of Patient Data Continuity

“The Department of Veterans Affairs manages one of the largest health care networks in the U.S. and is in the midst of a broad-reaching modernization push designed to reform the agency’s full breadth of service lines. While many of these reforms have improved the efficacy of the VA benefits system, agency leaders appear to see promise behind the creation of patient data profiles designed to improve both physical and behavioral health treatment.”

“These high-level technical aims tie back to the simple goal of providing the best care possible for veterans.”

“’VA has massive troves of data,’ said Deputy Chief Information Officer Dominic Cussatt, ‘but what I ask my team is how can we get that data working for veterans?’”

“VA is exploring applying proprietary data toward challenging public health quandaries like opioid addiction and veteran suicide, Cussatt added. These solutions are driven in large part by the newfound leveraging of artificial intelligence and complex analytics — methods that enable the otherwise unfeasible sorting and categorization of the VA’s expansive patient data repository.”

“Cussatt emphasized that complex data analytics are well suited for assisting in the inherently complex field of opioid addiction treatment, especially through creating profiles responsive to each veteran.”

“’We want our patients to get the treatment and pain management they need, but we don’t want them to fall into the opioid addiction trap,’ Cussatt said. ‘We use predictive analytics as a measure to see if they might need our help.’”

“Cussatt disclosed a similar project oriented toward veteran suicide prevention, an initiative that uses the consolidation of medical and service records to highlight potential origins of psychological distress…” Read the full article here.

Source: VA Addressing Promise and Challenges of Patient Data Continuity – By Adam Patterson, January 22, 2020. GovernmentCIO.

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