Department of Veterans Affairs To Offer Patients Online Access to Medical Records
The Department of Veterans Affairs will allow patients to access their medical records online and could allow the VA to share patient data electronically with other providers as part of the agency's MyHealtheVet program, American Medical News reports. Under the program, which will begin next spring, VA physicians will allow patients to view parts of their records, such as progress notes, discharges, medications and lab results, online. Patients also can request changes to their medical records and allow family members or their physicians to access portions of their records. "[Patients] can release as much or as little as they want to someone else," Dr. Robert Kolodner, a psychiatrist and acting chief of health information for the VA, said. If more physicians begin using electronic medical records and the health care industry adopts uniform data standards, the VA could one day exchange electronic patient data with non-VA providers, Kolodner said. The VA's decision to offer online records access to patients could lead other providers to do the same, American Medical News reports. "I think they will have a big impact in moving this forward," Dr. Stephen Ross of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center said. The VA works with many teaching hospitals, and the program could familiarize more physicians with online records, according to Ross (Chin, American Medical News, 7/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.