CMS, VHA to Make Electronic Records Available to Outside Providers

June 14, 2004 — The Veterans Health Administration is working with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a project to offer the benefits of electronic medical records to other providers, Federal Telemedicine News reports. VistA-Lite, a version of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VistA system that incorporates EHRs and computerized physician order entry, will be updated to meet the practice needs and financial considerations of outside clinics and physician offices. Thanks to David Derauf for this article.

For example, the system’s patient registration features will reflect the requirements of smaller practices. The system also will be reworked for specialty areas, such as OB/GYN and pediatrics. VistA-Lite will be available to physicians’ offices, practice management vendors and commercial software companies to develop similar products.

CMS, which is funding VistA-Lite, will co-manage the project with VHA, according to Dr. Jonathan Perlin, acting undersecretary for health at the VA. The Indian Health Service, the CDC and the FDA also are participating. The first version of the system should be available in November, with later versions reflecting changes to the main VistA system (Bloch, Federal Telemedicine News, 6/14).

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