The Virtual Lifetime Electronic Health Record (VLER) is an EHR specifically designed to monitor and track the medical history of American service members ─ all the way from active duty to veteran status. VLER is not a single technology system, but rather an information-sharing initiative designed to establish common standards and regulations between healthcare providers.
Most veterans receive medical care from a number of different providers, making it difficult to gain a comprehensive look at their health history. The VLER Health Exchange effectively combats this issue by streamlining medical records, making it easy for them to be shared with the Department of Health and Human Services, military treatment centers and all other medical professionals.
History of the VLER Health Exchange
In the past, soldiers and veterans were required to transport paper medical records from provider to provider. This dated system resulted in massive amounts of lost paperwork, causing physicians to be uninformed about their patients’ medical histories and consequently unable to offer the highest quality of care.
In May 2009, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) joined forces to create the VLER Health Exchange, to facilitate the exchange of health, benefits and administrative information for active service members, veterans and eligible beneficiaries. Currently, emphasis has been placed on supporting the exchange of medical information between the DoD, VA and private healthcare providers, but efforts to expand the scope of the VLER are currently underway.
4 Advantages of the VLER
The VLER offers countless benefits to patients and healthcare providers, such as:
- Increased Efficiency: The VLER facilitates the seamless processing of benefits, cutting costs and increasing productivity. Providers are able to use the VLR Health Exchange to learn more about a patient’s medical history, eliminating the need for redundant and unnecessary testing.
- Improved Communication: It typically impossible for providers to coordinate with each of a patient’s clinicians and caregivers, making it easy for important details to get overlooked. The VLER serves as a common platform everyone involved in patient care can utilize to communicate and stay better informed.
- Better Patient Outcomes: Patients enjoy improved health outcomes when all providers have easy access to their entire medical history, offering the ability to create a perfectly customized treatment plan. When clinicians are all on the same page, they’re able to offer the highest level of care.
- Creation of More Comprehensive Records: Traditionally, medical professionals have kept their own exclusive patient records, containing only the treatment provided by their practices. It can be very difficult to coordinate care between providers, ultimately resulting in gaps in records. The VLER Health Exchange eliminates this issue by offering one common place for providers to store and share key information.
VLER ─ Simplifying Healthcare for Service Members
Three out of four Veterans using VA healthcare services also seeks medical care from non-VA providers, according to the VA. The VLER Health Exchange promotes the quick and efficient sharing of vital healthcare information, ensuring active service members, veterans and eligible beneficiaries receive top quality medical care.
The VLER Health Exchange and VLER Health Direct are both safe and secure ways to store private health information, ensuring data is only shared with approved providers. Electronically sharing confidential data adds an extra layer of security to medical records, ensuring the safety of private information.