The VLER initiative launched following President Obama's April 9, 2009 direction to the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to create a unified lifetime electronic health record for members of our Armed Services. VLER will contain both administrative (i.e. personnel and benefits) and medical information for Service members and Veterans. VLER will provide access to information from day one of a Service member’s military career through transition to Veteran status and beyond.
To date, the VLER initiative has focused on facilitating the exchange of medical information for health care services among the DoD, VA, and private providers at six joint pilot site locations. VLER aims to complete its first capability area, which focuses on exchanging medical information necessary for a clinical encounter, by July 2012. VLER efforts have expanded to include requirements gathering and analysis for data to support the benefits adjudication processes.
One of the primary purposes of VLER is to streamline medical and administrative recordkeeping. With VLER, Service members and Veterans can share comprehensive administrative and health information with their care providers and benefits administrators. This will eliminate the need to bring paper copies of records from one facility to the next. By providing a common access point for all records, VLER will result in: more efficient processing of benefits, better informed clinicians, service, and care providers; improved continuity and timeliness of care; enhanced awareness among all involved parties; and elimination of gaps in records.
The VLER initiative expands on previous DoD/VA data sharing initiatives by including private sector organizations and other federal organizations such as the Social Security Administration. VLER is not an acquisition program and will not result in a single DoD/VA information technology system. The initiative will leverage existing information systems and develop the methods and technology to securely share information among those existing systems. In keeping with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Privacy Act, VLER will comply with rigorous standards of privacy and security to protect patient information.
Personnel and Readiness Information Management’s (P&R IM) Role
P&R IM provides DoD oversight for the VLER initiative, as well as strategic and tactical planning, project management, and communications support.
P&R IM coordinates with the Military Health System, Defense Manpower Data Center, VA, the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office, and Military Treatment Facilities to implement the VLER initiative.
For more information on VLER benefits, please contact the P&R IM VLER Benefits Representative.
For information on VLER Health, please contact the Military Health Service (MHS) help desk at email@example.com or 1-800-600-9332.