VHA Quietly Provides EHR Training to Physicians in the U.S.

Training physicians in the use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems is crucial nowadays. Fortunately, this type of training has been quietly provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to many hundreds of thousands of clinicians across the country over the past several decades. Here are some simple facts that might surprise some readers.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) currently operates more than 1,500 sites of care, including 152 hospitals, 965 outpatient clinics, and over 130 VA nursing homes. Last year, over 116,000 health professional trainees received some or all of their clinical training in these VA healthcare facilities. The VA has academic affiliation agreements with more than 1,800 colleges, universities, and medical schools across the U.S.  For more detail, see http://www.va.gov/OAA/index.asp

All of the physicians and healthcare professionals that pass through the VA receive training in the use of the VistA electronic health record (EHR) system. This training has played an instrumental role in laying the foundation for use of EHR systems by clinicians - something that is now basically being required of all hospitals and small practices across the country. This training has been vital to the healthcare industry as it has moved to further embrace much needed health information technology (HIT) and solutions, i.e. EHR, PHR, HIE, mHealth.

Finally, VA eHealth University (VeHU) is one of the key resources that has been developed for use by healthcare professions. Many of the VeHU training resources are free and have been made available for use by others outside the VA. To learn more about these online VeHU resources, go to  http://www.vehu.va.gov

Tell us about other great EHR Training programs you think ought to be recognized, especially if they are free and open to others.