Portland VA gets $500K for patient safety center

The Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been tapped to receive almost $500,000 split between two years to establish a Patient Safety Center of Inquiry. The goal of which is to develop, implement and disseminate a medication reconciliation system to allow medical providers to have a complete list of medications a patient is taking to avoid adverse drug interactions.

The funding will come from the VA’s National Center for Patient Safety. The VA has set up several patient safety centers across the country to address different issues, and Portland’s is the only center focused on medication reconciliation.

New technology solutions will be used that work with the pre-existing health record infrastructure. The VA Puget Sound Health Care System Informatics group will work with the Portland VA Medical Center to enhance existing software to include inter-facility messaging to allow immediate medication list retrieval no matter where a patient receives care.

Portland’s VA Medical Center was chosen for the center because of its experience with electronic health records. Its medical technology team developed the My HealthVet pilot program in 2002 to allow VA patients to access their own electronic health records online, and the team is testing a kiosk-based Automated Patient History Intake Device in six of its locations, allowing patients the ability to check in for medical visits and verify their medication.