VA, Kaiser to test EMR data sharing in San Diego

The two largest health systems in America are joining together to test clinical data interchange over the fledgling Nationwide Health Information Network. As part of a pilot announced with much fanfare on Wednesday, physicians with Kaiser Permanente and the Veterans Health Administration will start sharing limited EMR data for about 1,000 patients in San Diego County. The Military Health System will join the pilot in a few months, and long-term plans are to make this program available to all veterans and active-duty service members.

This marks the first time EMRs from a federal agency have been linked to private-sector EMRs.

Under the pilot, veterans who receive care from both the VA and Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and who consent to the data sharing, will be able to have summaries of their medical history sent electronically between the two organizations. The limited data set initially will include demographic information, plus problem, medication and allergy lists. Eventually, the program could add test results, images and progress notes, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

For more details on this new program:
- check out this San Diego Union-Tribune story
- read this press release from Kaiser and the VA