DOD, VA look to link

Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department are working to coordinate the delivery of benefits and services to veterans who leave active service.

VA officials have set up a high-level Joint Executive Council to implement sophisticated record-sharing efforts so soldiers' medical charts do not get lost once they leave the military.

Among the goals:

Facilitating electronic sharing of enrollment and eligibility information.

Establishing an electronic patient health record system that will allow the exchange of information between the VA and DOD by the end of 2005.

Increasing the number of shared medical care facilities.

The VA also is establishing an Office of Business Oversight that will coordinate and provide better oversight for veterans health needs.

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