VA to test provider-facing app

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund

The Department of Veterans Affairs is adding a provider-facing app to its arsenal, joining two patient-facing apps already in the testing phase.

As reported in FCW, the apps are designed to help both doctors and patients access information contained in the VA's Vista electronic health record platform, with the goal of improving workflows for providers and improving clinical outcomes.

The provider-facing app, Patient Viewer, is designed for any mobile device, according to Kathy Frisbee, MD, co-director of the VA's Connected Health Program. It's also built to give clinicians access to patient records on the go.

"The hypothesis is that these mobile devices will save approximately five minutes per patient, which will increase the number of patients that we can potentially see," Frisbee told FCW. She said the VA will roll out the app to some 100 providers this summer, then release it across the enterprise later this year if the test is successful.

Meanwhile, veterans have been trying out the Mobile Blue Button and Summary of Care apps since November 2014, with larger-scale rollouts expected later this year. The Mobile Blue Button app enables veterans to access their medical record, while the Summary of Care app offers access to ancillary data like vital signs, lab results, medication history and consults.

"Mobility is a new journey for many organizations - the VA included," Neil Evans, MD, the Connected Health Program's other co-director, told FCW. "So part of this is building, beyond just the application itself, the infrastructure to support a robust mobile program."

With the VA looking to develop a more mobile-friendly approach, the administration is also launching the Enterprise Health Management Platform, a new interface that would enable developers to design their own apps for Vista.

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