VA's Patient Portal Reaches 1 Million

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 13, 2013
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This article appears in the May issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

At the Veterans Health Administration since mid-January, more than 1 million patient participants are now able to electronically access clinical notes from their VA EHR through the My HealtheVet patient portal.

Before this year, VA patients could view their appointments and wellness reminders, and most blood test results, says Susan Woods, MD, MPH, a general internist and consumer health informatics specialist at the VA's Portland, Ore., center.

Now, "basically all test results, chemistry, laboratory, pathology, as well as imaging results, are available," Woods says. Patients can click on the Blue Button download icon on the My HealtheVet Web site, and view, print, or download all this data, as well as clinical notes, Woods says.

Woods notes that the VA has been a leader in shared access to patient data. It first prototyped a personal health record in 2000, and access to test results and clinical notes was piloted in nine VA facilities from 2000 to 2010, she says.

All along, VA patients have had the legal right to access their complete medical records, but when those records are on paper, "it's a cumbersome process," Woods says. "What we're doing electronically is really just reducing the barriers for something that's already been in existence all along."

This article appears in the May issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.




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