Evolution of Healthcare Information Systems
September 29, 2014
Evolution of Health Care information Systems
The Veterans Administration (VA) was established in 1930 by President Hoover to help consolidate all parties involved in providing benefits to veterans (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2011). Over the years the VA has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930 to over 153 medical centers , 909 community based clinics., 135 nursing homes, 47 rehabilitation programs, 232 Veteran Centers, and 108 home-care programs (Department of Veterans Affair, 2011). Over the last 20 years the VA has helped shape the care delivery system by implementing new technologies, implementing the care team care model, and changes to delivery of care models (Yano et al, 2007). The use of technological advances has greatly improved over the last 20 years and will continue to improve. It is the contrast/comparisons between the information technology of 20 years ago that helps to shape the information technology of today. Compare and contrast technology
Twenty years ago the VA was just starting to realize that change was needed and began looking for ways to improve the health care delivery system by improving the use of information technology throughout the whole system. In the past the Veterans administration relied on old faithful the, "paper trail". This type of system was time consuming, inefficient, and did not provide the best quality of care. Records were kept at the VA facility where treatment was administered, it was up to the soldier to carry a copy of all his medical records with him so that if he /she was treated at another VA or the same VA facility by another doctor the record would be available. The problem was that in most cases Veterans either did not receive a copy of all the records, or in the process of their military career documents were lost.
In 1995 the VA began the push for an integrated electronic health record that would allow any provider at any facility in the VA system to access a patients record (Ali,2010). This allowed for continuity of care as well as improved quality of care. In the past if documentation was missing the provider would have to basically began with that patient like he was new. If a individual forgot to tell the provider that certain test had already been done then test such as blood work and x-rays would have to be repeated which increased the costs of providing care.
The implementation of the electronic medical record increased customer satisfaction, helped decrease cost, and improved the health care delivery system. Veterans were able to not only receive the care they deserved, but also had documentation of illnesses and injuries sustained while in the line of duty that could be used when determining compensation. Today, the VA is fully integrated with the electronic medical records and it allows the Veterans access their records at any time by using the Myhealthyvet.com website, and it also allows for providers to see medical information on patients who have been seen at VA's across the country. Major events or technological advantages
Before the launching of the integrated electronic medical record in 1995 which was a major technological advantage, President Bush in 1989 created the Veteran Affairs as a cabinet position and a new department stating that , " there is only one place for the Veterans of America, in the Cabinet Room, at the table with the President of the United States of America" (Department of Veterans Affair, 2013). By creating this department the President acknowledged the need for oversight as well as improvements in the system to ensure our Veterans received the care and benefits they deserved. Another event that proved to be influential in the restructuring of the Veterans Administration was the appointment of Secretary Shinseki a retired General to lead a massive transformation of the VA...
References: Ali, T., (2010). Electronic Medical Record and Quality of Patient Care In the VA. Medicine & Health/Rhode Island, 93(1), pp 8-10.
Department of Veterans Affairs, (2013). VA History. Retrieved September, 2014,
Yano, E.M., Simon, B. F., Lanto, A. B., Rubenstein, L.V. (2007). The Evolution of Changes in
Primary Care Delivery Underlying the Veterans Health Administration 's Quality
Transformation. American Journal of Public Health, 97(12), pp 2152-2159.
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