In Southern California there are about 450 veterans that have been signed up to be “guinea pigs” to test how the VA Department can improve healthcare by using electronic health records.
The project was done through the VA Department and Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Back in November 2009, letters were sent out to San Diego veterans who had previous care at both the VA and Kaiser Permanente. They gave permission to the two institutions to share their heath records and specific information electronically.
The goal of this project was to find if these two institutions sharing electronic health records would produce more speedy care, as well as better care overall. Moreover, the goal of sharing of electronic health records will be to cut costs and limit the number of medical errors, such as giving a harmful prescription.
About 450 of the 1,114 patients who were mailed letters to participate agreed to be apart of this pilot program. Also, the Department of Defense is planning on joining the pilot sometime early this year.
According to NextGov reports, John Mattison, the chief medical information officer for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, said, “The commitment from all [of us] to do a national rollout is very, very strong.”