Providers in the greater Buffalo region of New York will share patient data on veterans under an initiative of the Department of Veterans Affairs to link its physicians with private practices and hospitals.

Buffalo is one of 13 communities across the nation participating in the VA’s Virtual Lifetime Electronic Records Health Communities Program, called VLER. Providers will share patient records via HEALTHeLINK, a regional health information exchange. Buffalo providers and the HIE also participate in the federally funded Beacon Communities program in 17 regions across the nation to accelerate adoption of health information technology and become model sites for other communities.

Veterans’ records to be shared under the VLER program include laboratory, radiology and transcribed reports, and medication history. Veterans must enroll in the program, at buffalo.va.gov/vler.asp, and sign a consent form for their information to be shared.

HEALTHeLINK, which serves eight counties, in June linked to its first long-term care facility as it expands the types of providers being served.

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