The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of our country’s great assets. Established during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, the VA has long been a health industry pioneer. The first successful liver transplant (near and dear to my family) was performed by the VA in 1963. The cardiac pacemaker, the nicotine patch, the first powered ankle-foot prosthesis—all were created at the VA. From the development of early diabetes research to the implementation of the first EHR, VA is a leader in health innovation.
Today, the VA continues to innovate with technology to transform care. The Enterprise Health Management Platform (eHMP) is one of the latest examples. eHMP is helping the VA transform to the largest integrated delivery network in the U.S., with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, and community living centers. Now, for the first time, a Veteran’s health data shows up when they do—no matter where they’ve been seen previously in the VA system, including their prior DoD Service Treatment Record—and it is all integrated into the clinician workflow at the point of care. eHMP does the heavy lifting to normalize the data across 130 unique VistA instances, enabling the VA to finally have a single virtual instance of the Veteran’s electronic health record.
Why is this such a breakthrough? I recently spoke with Shawn Roman, Accenture Managing Director and Department of Veterans Affairs Account Lead, about the VA’s innovation leadership in care delivery. “One of the key terms out there that everyone’s driving towards is interoperability,” says Shawn. “How can we better connect in order to serve our Veterans? Our ability to connect their medical information from when they enlist in the military throughout their life as a Veteran will greatly improve care quality and the experience of care.”
eHMP delivers interoperability with DoD and integration within VA, and is absolutely key to achieving the VA’s mission of Veteran-centric, team-based care. “We’re actually connecting care teams and information within VA’s facilities, across facilities and across geographies,” says Shawn. “So, as a Veteran, you can seek care in any VA facility, and with eHMP those providers will have access to your information when you walk in to be seen. eHMP is turning clinical data into improved Veteran care quality, access and experience.”
eHMP liberates Veterans’ health data from the VistA technology, allowing patient data to strengthen team-based care across facilities, geographies and providers—from the VA to the private sector and back again. In addition, the Veterans Choice program gives Veterans the power to seek care with community providers outside the VA, and interoperability is key to seamless integration across VA and private sector care settings.
As Shawn explains, “By putting Veterans at the center of the care experience, with VA wrapped around our Veterans, and the private sector wrapped around the VA for improved access and care, we’re helping the VA transform nationally—and to again pioneer innovation that’s core to the transformation of healthcare.”