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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) are engaged in ongoing efforts to share medical information, which is important in helping to ensure high-quality health care for active-duty military personnel and veterans. These efforts include a long-term program to develop modernized health information systems based on computable data: that is, data in a format that a computer application can act on--for example, to provide alerts to clinicians of drug allergies. In addition, the departments are engaged in short-term initiatives involving existing systems. GAO was asked to summarize its recent testimony on the history and current status of these long- and short-term efforts to share health information. To develop that testimony, GAO reviewed its previous work, analyzed documents, and interviewed VA and DOD officials about current status and future plans.

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