The Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare and the Department of Defense (DoD) are now able to securely share electronic patient health information across the nation using the eHealth Exchange, Sentara recently announced.
Sentara hospitals, physician practices and outpatient facilities in Hampton Roads and northern Virginia that use the Epic electronic health record (EHR) platform are among the early adopters of a nationwide effort to improve care for active duty personnel, dependents and retirees. When military families and retirees receive care at a Sentara facility, doctors, nurses and other providers are now able to review information from both DoD and Veterans Administration (VA) records. If patients return to the VA and DoD, or receive care from another civilian provider, those providers can see health records from Sentara.
"Hampton Roads and northern Virginia have one of the largest communities of active duty and retired personnel in America," said Bert Reese, senior vice president and CIO of Sentara. "It’s a mobile population and, for the first time, we can offer a continuous lifetime record that begins at birth and moves with the service member through military, VA and commercial care."
Sentara is also sharing patient data with the Social Security Administration. "Processing time for disability claims has been reduced from weeks and months to hours and days for many patients," said Tom Wilson, director of information technology for Sentara. "It’s been a game changer."