NPR: VA Is Creating Medical Data ‘Gold Mine’
Part of the reason this sweeping medical database is possible is that the Department of Veterans Affairs has been keeping computerized medical records for more than two decades.
NPR: Veterans To Create World's Largest Medical Database
"Not only do we have all their clinical records — laboratory, vital signs, pharmacy database — we have annual assessments that we will do that we can track people, assessments of depression, PTSD, suicide screening, alcohol and substances, traumatic brain injury," says Dr. Jennifer Hoblyn, who specializes in mental illness at the VA of Palo Alto. The VA will remove the names, so the data are anonymous (Standen, 11/14).
Meanwhile, in Phoenix, the VA health system is cracking down.
Arizona Republic: Phoenix VA Health Care System Will Step Up Referral Oversight
The Phoenix VA Health Care System cut its budget and delayed equipment purchases this year to help compensate for an $11.4 million shortfall that stemmed from lax oversight of a VA health-care program, a new report says. The Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of the Inspector General issued a report last week that found the Phoenix VA did not have effective controls over a program that sent veterans to non-VA facilities for health care (Alltucker, 11/12).