ABC’s World News reports that the health IT at the Veterans Health System is considered by most experts as “one of the best health care systems in the country.”

Most private hospitals repeat 20% of their lab tests because physicians are unable to find the patient’s results. However, unlike the VA system, the lab results are kept in an EHR, saving millions of dollars from repeated lab tests. Along with the superb EHR is the use of an electronic band.

Patients are provided with a band that looks like a typical hospital ID. This band is an electronic monitoring device that when scanned, provides a photo of the patient along with his current treatments.

Video available here.

[Source: ABC World News]

The VA Medical System’s EHR is superb. It takes less than 5 minutes for a new VA healthcare professional to figure out where to find lab results. However, it is not just the VA’s user friendly EHR that reduces costs, it’s also their operation and approach to patient care.

Unlike a lot of private hospitals, the VA is heavy on utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach. Each medical team consists of a a clinical pharmacist who rounds with the medical residents. So you have your doctors who are the diagnosing experts along with the pharmacist who is the drug specialist. During each patient case review, nurses are also involved in the discussion of the patient’s everyday progression. This allows for a detailed approach towards caring for the patient.

In addition to their multi-disciplinary approach is their drug-check system. Every order inputted by a medical resident or attending is sent to the inpatient pharmacists who double-check the drug dose, allergies, use, proper dosage according to lab results and so forth. This reduces errors as well as provides improved patient care.