On May 28, 2004, the Greater Los Angeles (GLA) Health Care System, a branch of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA) in which they partnered to develop and operate a 400-bed State Veterans Home and two 60-bed satellite facilities on the West Los Angeles campus of GLA. GLA and the State entered into this partnership with the purpose of better serving veterans’ health needs through a uniform level of care and seamless integration of medical services.
A guiding principle of the Memorandum of Understanding, therefore, was that the GLA Medical Center would provide the majority of services to the State Home by means of sharing agreements. One of the central sharing agreements for the future State Home includes the use of VistA, the VA’s electronic medical record (EMR) system.
The central policy questions addressed in this study are:
1. What is the best medical record system for the future West LA State Veterans Home?
2. Once the best alternative has been identified, what is the optimal pathway to implementing this alternative?
Patients benefit if their clinicians, in both the GLA Medical Center and the State Home, have access to accurate, up-to-date clinical and pharmaceutical information. In this report we investigate the feasibility of integrating EMR systems between our client, the GLA Medical Center, and the future State Home. We assess all potential options for the State Home’s medical records based on how they match criteria that include quality of care, legal feasibility, operational constraints, political context, and costs.