How Health Information Exchange Facilitated COVID-19 Follow-Up for VA

“A local health information exchange (HIE) helped Veterans Affairs (VA) clinicians identify COVID-19 patients diagnosed in the community and facilitate ambulatory COVID-19 symptom follow-up, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association Open (JAMIA).”

“Most veterans receive their healthcare in both VA medical centers and non-VA facilities out in the community. This can pose a patient data exchange and interoperability problem, which culminated during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Veterans receiving COVID-19 care at non-VA facilities needed to see their health data transmitted to their VA providers.”

“The VA’s health information exchange, VHIE, used alongside New York’s regional health information exchange, RHIO, successfully filled in this gap in New York, the assessment showed…”

“’This study presents an example of a process to utilize health information exchange alert notification to identify VA patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the community to facilitate ambulatory telephone and less often video follow-up by their VA primary care team to manage their COVID-19 infection,’ wrote the study authors.”

“The HIE alert process enabled COVID-19 patients outside of VA to receive the same follow-up by their non-VA primary care teams…”

“’The VA is working toward greater interoperability with its community partners under VHA Office of Interoperability through the Veterans Health Information Exchange (VHIE) program,’ concluded the study authors. ‘As the VA transitions to the Cerner system, our experience is an instructive example of how HIE between VHA and community partners can improve service to Veterans.’” Read the full article here.

Source: How Health Information Exchange Facilitated COVID-19 Follow-Up – By Christopher Jason, March 24, 2021. EHR Intelligence.

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