VA Lays Out Plans for Cloud-Based Digital Health Platform

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | December 16, 2016

The Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a blueprint for a cloud-based technology platform that will integrate veteran data from VA, military and commercial electronic health records, as well as apps, devices and wearables, so that the information is available to providers in real time. While the VA is still finalizing plans for how it implements the Digital Health Platform (DHP), the agency has a strategy in place that is seen as the future path for providing next-generation healthcare to millions of the nation's veterans.

According to LaVerne Council, the VA’s CIO and assistant secretary for information and technology, DHP is meant to provide a comprehensive dashboard covering a veteran’s complete medical record, enabling a holistic approach to healthcare that supports patient-centric care and stresses customer relationship management...The whole concept around the Digital Health Platform is that “you never see the system, the system just knows you,” she adds.

The VA’s Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) gave a sneak peek of DHP in July when it released its Midyear Transformation Review. However, the VA has now launched a new website laying out additional details about the platform’s envisioned capabilities and benefits... Council notes that the Digital Health Platform uses open-source standards such as HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) application programming interface to integrate the more than 130 instances or versions of the VA’s legacy EHR system—the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA)—as well as military and commercial EHRs...