DOD/VA PHR is key to increasing patient engagement and military readiness says DHA lead

“As Military Health System providers, ensuring the readiness of service members is our number-one priority. None of us, however, were ready for 2020’s relentless swarm of unprecedented circumstances instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure our forces are prepared for what we know may be coming – and any other surprises the future may hold – we must empower them to fully participate in their own health, well-being, and readiness. That’s why the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs are collaborating on a joint patient engagement system that includes a joint personal health record.”

“Research indicates that empowering patients to proactively access, manage, and control their own health-related data improves their communication with providers and care teams. It also enables patients to take ownership in their own health decisions, resulting in improved health outcomes. As part of a suite of patient engagement tools, a PHR is specifically designed to increase patients’ ownership of their data and engagement in their own care, which together improve both health outcomes and readiness.”

“Both the DoD and VA recognize the critical need for more effective patient engagement solutions to improve data exchange and continuity of care among patients, MHS providers, VA providers, and commercial providers. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, national legislation such as the 21st Century Cures Act, and departmental policies including DoD Instruction 6040.48 all mandate the development and implementation of a joint DoD/VA PHR. The DoD/VA Patient Engagement Work Group is spearheading efforts to create a single, lifetime, personal health data space that beneficiaries would own and control throughout their military careers and would easily transition to VA and community health care afterward.”

Understanding the PHR

“The joint DoD/VA personal health record will be a digital health care tool accessible through a mobile app or online location. Beneficiaries would download copies of their official medical records from DoD, VA, and community providers and store them in one secure, easy-to-access digital location under patient ownership and control.”

“To smooth service members’ transition from active duty to VA or community medical care, the PHR would be fully integrated with the unified, interoperable electronic health record platform currently being implemented for DoD and VA. Beneficiaries would also be able to message care teams and make appointments, just as with an EHR and its patient portal…” Read the full article here.

Source: DoD/VA Personal Health Record is key to increasing patient engagement and military readiness – By U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Hae Kyung (Amy) Park, December 16, 2020. DVIDS.

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