PR: VistA ‘Soon’ Available to Private Offices

Thanks to Nancy Anthracite for this information: Use of VA’s Electronic Health Records Expanding July 23, 2004
WASHINGTON – One of the world’s most sophisticated systems for keeping
electronic health records will soon be easily available to doctors,
hospitals and clinics around the country, courtesy of the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) and the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid
Services. “VA is proud to lead the health care industry in the use of
information technology. The expertise we have gained, however, belongs to
the American public,” said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, VA’s Acting Under Secretary
for Health. “With our federal partners, we’re making it easier for the
private-sector health care industry to make use of this electronic system
for health care records.” The system, called VistA-Office Electronic Health
Record, was developed by VA. A version of VistA is used at more than 1,300
VA facilities throughout the United States to maintain records on 5 million
veterans who receive their health care from VA. Under the plan announced
today, private-sector health care providers can obtain a version of VistA at
nominal cost. Distribution of the software is expected to begin in late
2005. VistA offers health care providers a complete electronic record
covering all aspects of patient care, including reminders for preventive
health care, electronic entry of pharmaceutical orders, display of
laboratory results, consultation requests, x-rays and pathology slides.
Besides the VA system, VistA is currently used by the Department of Health
for the District of Columbia, plus health care systems in Finland, Germany,
Egypt and Nigeria. People wishing to receive e-mail from VA with the
latest news releases and updated fact sheets can subscribe at the following
Internet address:

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