Medical exchange partnership set up for veterans

Aug 1, 2012

Veterans who rely on Veterans Affairs and private providers for their healthcare don't have to carry around paper copies of the medical records anymore. Local vets can now allow healthcare providers access their medical records electronically.

VA Healthcare System of Western New York Director Brian Stiller says the VA has joined HEALTHeLINK, the region's clinical information exchange. The program allows private practitioners, local hospitals, labs, and the VA to share a patient's test results, x-rays, MRIs and medication history.

Stiller says having immediate access to that information will reduce patient's waiting time, repetitive testing, and healthcare costs, while improving the VA's quality of care.  

"Some of the key safety things that we look at in patient care is coordination of care and making sure that the right information is available at the right time. The use of HEALTHeLINK between both...the VA provider and community provider can only stand to improve that," Stiller said.

There is no cost to enroll and Stiller says veterans should sign up at the VA by simply filling out a consent form allowing for the information sharing.