President Obama said April 9 the United States has taken the first steps to create portable electronic health records for all military personnel.
Under the plan, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs will ultimately be able to seamlessly communicate the health records of veterans.
Currently, there is no comprehensive system in place that allows for a streamlined transition of health care records between DOD and the VA. The White House said it worked with DOD Secretary Robert Gates and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to support advanced funding of veterans' medical care.
"I'm asking both departments to work together to define and build a seamless system of integration with a simple goal: When a member of the Armed Forces separates from the military, he or she will no longer have to walk paperwork from a DOD duty station to a local VA health center; their electronic records will transition along with them and remain with them forever," Obama said.
The president has repeatedly said one of his goals is to transform the country's health care delivery system. One of the linchpins of his plan is to move to paperless administration of benefits, providing a framework to give health care providers the information they need to deliver high-quality health care while reducing medical errors.
Obama said the military e-health records would "represent a huge step towards modernizing the way health care is delivered and benefits are administered for our nation's veterans. It would cut through red tape and reduce the number of administrative mistakes."