UnityPoint Health Improves Care for Veterans through Coordinated Health Records
Electronic health records at UnityPoint Health are now connected to the Department of Veterans Affairs through eHealth Exchange, the federal Health Information Exchange. Through this connection, clinicians can electronically share patient information across both systems to improve coordinated care for veterans regardless of location.
UnityPoint Health Becomes First System in Iowa to Connect to the VA
In August 2014, UnityPoint Health joined the eHealth Exchange, which allows providers safe and immediate access to patient records in order to simplify patient care coordination. UnityPoint Health also became the first health system in Iowa to connect to the VA specifically, in January 2015. Patients within the VA system must opt-in for their data to be shared through the eHealth Exchange, and the VA does not currently connect directly with any state, public, or private Health Information Exchanges. All connections must be accessed through eHealth Exchange.
Improved Collaboration Benefits Patients
“Connecting to eHealth and the VA expands our ability to successfully coordinate care,” said John Hendricks, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer for UnityPoint Health. “Since implementing this new process, we’ve witnessed improved collaboration between physicians in our system and external systems, all to benefit our patients.”
By utilizing the eHealth Exchange, providers can use available data to find and notify patients at risk for problems related to medical recalls or unsafe drugs, identify national epidemics and assist researchers with treatment or data analysis to isolate best practices. By connecting to the VA, providers are further enhanced in their ability to share data.
“Many patients see multiple providers throughout their lifetime,” said Troy Martens, COO for UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center. “Health information exchanges allow us to connect, and make sure that patient medical records are safely accessed by authorized providers wherever treatment is sought.”