VA looks to RPA to speed up digitization of its health records

The Department of Veterans Affairs is exploring the use of robotic process automation (RPA) to more quickly digitize external medical documents and link them to a veteran’s existing electronic health record.

The VA issued a request for information in search of a managed RPA tool to “streamline the flow of external clinical document sets” into its EHR systems — both the existing Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) and the forthcoming Cerner Millenium-based modernized platform it is planning to roll out in the near future.

This is particularly important as the VA since 2014 has allowed veterans to seek care outside of its facilities under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. When that happens, those non-VA facilities generate records and send them, often as paper copies, to the VA to be integrated digitally with a veteran’s electronic health record.

Such a tool would “help eliminate backlog, reduce the number of manual scanning/indexing tasks, and increase quality and quantitative traceability with both VA’s existing VistA and newest Cerner Millennium platforms,” the RFI says. The VA inspector general reported last year that the department’s backlog of health records awaiting digitization “measured approximately 5.15 miles high and contained at least 597,000 individual electronic document files dating back to October 2016.”

Read more here: VA looks to RPA to speed up digitization of its health records

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