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      Implications for informatics given expanding access to care for Veterans and other populations.

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          Abstract

          Recent investigations into appointment scheduling within facilities operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) illuminate systemic challenges in meeting its goal of providing timely access to care for all Veterans. In the wake of these investigations, new policies have been enacted to expand access to care at VA facilities as well as non-VA facilities if the VA is unable to provide access within a reasonable timeframe or a Veteran lives more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility. These policies are similar to broader health reform efforts that seek to expand access to care for other vulnerable populations. In this perspective, we discuss the informatics implications of expanded access within the VA and its wider applicability across the US health system. Health systems will require robust health information exchange, to maintain coordination while access to care is expanded. Existing informatics research can guide short-term implementation; furthermore, new research is needed to generate evidence about how best to achieve the long-term aim of expanded access to care.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Am Med Inform Assoc
          Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
          Oxford University Press (OUP)
          1527-974X
          1067-5027
          Jul 2015
          : 22
          : 4
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Center for Health Information and Communication, Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and Development Service CIN 13-416, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Indiana University Center for Biomedical Informatics, Regenstrief Institute bedixon@iupui.edu.
          [2 ] Center for Health Information and Communication, Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and Development Service CIN 13-416, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center School of Medicine, Indiana University Center for Health Services Research, Regenstrief Institute.
          Article
          ocv019
          10.1093/jamia/ocv019
          25833394

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