One of the most frustrating parts of a VA claim can be trying to find needed records and get them to the right people. The VA is attempting to address this problem with the Electronic Health Record Modernization effort. Known as EHRM, it will digitalize a Veteran’s post 1980 VA and DOD medical records into a single online database accessible to VA providers. This will allow Veteran’s to receive more efficient, higher quality care as VA providers will be able to view both a Veteran’s in-service treatment records and all of their VA medical records. The program launched in 2018 and the actual process of transitioning started in 2020 and is slowly being expanded across the country ensuring that the ability to access records remains uninterrupted.
Previously, a Veteran’s in-service treatment records would be held by the DOD and often would not be included in a Veteran’s VA file. Compounding the problem, VA providers often store a Veteran’s medical records locally which makes it difficult for a new VA provider to access them. The EHRM system would allow a VA provider to view a Veteran’s entire military and VA medical record in digital form. This would allow a provider to see treatment records for an injury sustained during active duty or test results performed by another VA provider without having to request medical records or have the Veteran physically hand over the required documents. An added benefit of the EHRM effort is that Veterans will be able to more easily access their medical records which then can speed up the claims process for VA benefits.