VA plans pilot projects for Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record initiative

Expects to select three to six communities for participation in the coming year

The Veterans Affairs Department is looking for three to six vendors who can coordinate pilot programs with local hospitals and health plans to advance the VA-Defense Department’s Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) program.

In the pilot tests the VA, DOD and private-sector partners will exchange health data through the Health and Human Services Department’s Nationwide Health Information Network, with the goal of improved tracking and delivery of patient care. The VLER program will be a comprehensive system to collect administrative and medical information for members of the military through their period of service and beyond.

The VLER Health Community Initiative will name two to four communities in the next several months and three to six communities in the next year, according to a Dec. 7 notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web Site. Responses are due by Dec. 15.

Preference will go to communities with a significant share of care provided to the military and veterans, ability to demonstrate health information technology and exchange, and a high concentration of federal health programs.

The VA intends to contract with a VLER Health Community coordinator located at each of the selected communities.

The vendors selected for the project will provide expertise in health care systems and health information exchange; will have experience working in a health care system; and will have an understanding of technical requirements for health information exchange between private and public sector partners, among other requirements.

The VA has completed work on the first phase of the VLER program, its chief information officer, Roger Baker, said at a recent conference.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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