State Dept., Coast Guard to lash health record systems together

The State Department and the U.S. Coast Guard will begin sharing an electronic health record system, according to State Department officials.

State's Office of Medical Services and the Coast Guard’s Health and Safety Work-Life Directorate recently signed an interagency agreement to share an integrated health information system, which includes a commercial electronic health record system developed by Epic Systems Corp., officials said. 

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The agreement accords with interagency acquisitions authorized by the Economy Act, State Department officials said. Along those lines, the collaboration taps the Coast Guard’s initial procurement investment in the electronic health record system.

The plan calls for setting up an interagency disaster recovery network supported by electronic health records. For the first time,  health care providers working through State’s Office of Medical Services will have access to the health records of the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments’ personnel when caring for these individuals, officials said.

Under the agreement, State and Coast Guard clinicians will also have access to the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER), the unified electronic health record for current and retired members of the U.S. Armed Services. 

VLER is compatible with the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), a set of common standards and technologies for sharing health information being spearheaded by the federal Office of the National Coordinator for health IT.

This State-Coast Guard project increases the interoperability of information within the federal government and private sectors, which is a critical component of health care reform, State officials said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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