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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


NextGov United Kingdom eyes VA's Electronic Health Record

The Veterans Affairs Department and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service have teamed up to share ideas, strategies and leadership for development of health information technology, opening the possibility that the NHS could use VA’s electronic health record system.

Peter Levin, the former VA Chief Technology Officer who retired this month, told Nextgov the Pentagon also should adopt VA electronic health record.

On March 13, VA, the 3millionlives telehealth project backed by the U.K. Department of Health, and 2020Health, a U.K. think tank, released a 90-page report, Making Connections, which calls for greater collaboration between NHS and the Veterans Health Administration on health IT.

Julia Manning, chief executive of 2020Health, said in an introduction to the report that cooperation between VHA and NHS could trigger deployment of digital health services in the UK and contribute to the development of specialized telehealth services within VHA.

The NHS launched a national electronic health record project, the NHS National Programme for IT in 2004 but canceled it in 2011 following delays and cost overruns. The health ministry said at the time “the nationally imposed system is neither necessary nor appropriate” and suggested development of local, hospital-based systems. Due to the project’s collapse, hospitals in the U.K. still use paper records, the Making Connections report said.