VA Looking To Add Social Medial Tools to EHR Portal

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is testing the use of various social media-style tools that would enhance the user experience and accessibility of VA’s electronic health record portal My HealtheVet, Federal Computer Week reports.

At the 2010 FOSE conference on Tuesday, Gail Graham, VA’s deputy chief officer of health care information management, said that younger VA members returning from deployment have been requesting more functionality and social media-like services in the EHR portal. Veterans use the portal to access their health records, maintain health diaries and order prescription refills.

She said that VA has been testing a secure message tool that would link patients to their health providers through My HealtheVet. The tool has been introduced in pilot projects at several VA hospitals, Graham said. However, she noted that HIPAA privacy rules prevent it from functioning as an instant messaging tool.

Graham said that additional features are being tested in focus groups with veterans (Beizer, Federal Computer Week, 3/23).

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