US DoD and VA implement new capability for bidirectional sharing of health records

The Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) programme office, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the US Department of Defense (DoD) introduced a modernised health data sharing capability that enhances the security of health record exchange with the departments’ healthcare partners. The joint effort allows healthcare providers in both departments to promptly and securely access electronic health record data of their patients who have been seen by a participating community partner or health system. Moreover, participating healthcare providers now have a focal point to request and access DoD and VA electronic health records that can be used in the treatment of those patients. Regarding privacy concerns, the announcement notes that the health records of patients who opt out of sharing will not be exchanged through the joint DoD and VA health information exchange.