Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record Health Information Exchange Initiative
The Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record Health Information Exchange Initiative (VLER HIE) securely connects health and benefit information systems from the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and other federal and private sector partners.
What is the VLER HIE?
The VLER HIE is a secure network that shares health information. For decades, the Military Health System (MHS) operated its own HIE. This HIE shared health information electronically between providers at military hospitals and clinics and VA facilities. Now, we are expanding this capability to our TRICARE network providers. With the VLER HIE, all providers who have met the stringent security requirements and joined the eHealth ExchangeThe eHealth Exchange is a network of exchange partners who securely share clinical information across the United States. Not all medical organizations participate in the eHealth Exchange. can access your records and health information electronically. This is regardless of whether the facility is a civilian provider or military hospital or clinic. The eHealth Exchange is a network of exchange partners who securely share clinical information across the United States. Not all medical organizations participate in the eHealth Exchange.
What does the VLER HIE do?
The VLER HIE shares your health information securely with participating healthcare providers who have joined the eHealth Exchange. Sharing through the eHealth Exchange:
- Gives your provider a more complete view of your health record
- Helps you and you healthcare team make the best decisions about your health
- Shares your military health records with civilian providers
- Can prove useful in the case of emergencies where you or your family aren't physically able to share your necessary information
How safe is my information when its shared?
The VLER HIE fully complies with the most rigorous privacy and security standards. Your information is securely shared.
What information is shared through the eHealth Exchange?
Through the eHealth Exchange, your health care providers can share information, such as:
- Lab and radiology results
- Past medical procedures
- Clinical Notes
*To improve your care experience, we may share your health information as permitted by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) with other authorized organizations who partner with the MHS. To enhance coordination among care teams, this includes notes written by your clinicians, which could contain information about sexual assault, domestic violence, child/elder abuse, substance abuse, mental health, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Whose records will be shared?
Anyone who has a record in the DoD CDR; this means if you were treated in a military hospital or clinic in the past 20 years, you may have records that will be shared.
Who can see my information?
Providers whose organizations participate in the eHealth Exchange and connect with the MHS can see your information. This may include:
- Providers at military hospitals and clinics
- VA providers
- Civilian providers who have joined the eHealth Exchange
- Onboarded MHS VLER HIE Partners
The list of participating organizations is growing each month. Please check back if your provider isn't on the list yet.
How can I participate in VLER Health?
This service is part of your health benefit. You don’t need to take any action to participate.
Do I have to participate in VLER HIE?
- Active duty service members must participate
- All others may choose to opt out
If you choose to opt out, we can’t share your healthcare information through the eHealth Exchange, possibly not even in the case of an emergency.
How do I opt out of the VLER HIE?
To opt out of the MHS's HIE:
This process opts you out of the MHS HIE. It doesn’t opt you out of any civilian HIE programs. State law helps guide varied rules civilian providers have regarding HIE program participation. Please contact your civilian providers to learn how to opt in or out of their HIE process.
What if I change my mind?
If you opt out and then change your mind, you can request to opt back in at any time.