VA’s next step of transparency: you can download and save from your EHR

Jonathan Kaupanger
May 01, 2018 - 11:27 am

Photo Credit: Xinhua/Sipa USA

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Veterans can now access, download and even share copies of their radiology studies through VA’s My HealtheVet portal

With your My HealtheVet premium account, you can access Veterans Affairs' new feature called VA Medical Images and Reports. This is brand new for the VA and lets you access things like X-rays, mammograms, MRIs and CTs from your VA Electronic Health Record (EHR).

There are three types of My HealtheVet accounts, basic, advanced and premium. Your identity isn’t authenticated with the basic account, but you can still use the journals and other tools to track your health and set personal goals. These goals can be used by your medical team to understand what’s important to you.

The advanced account has a higher level of security and can access some parts of your VA/DoD records. The premium account is for VA patients. It has the highest level of security and is the type of account you’ll need to be able to download your information. You will need to go through authentication to access this level, but it’s the best way to use the VA Blue Button feature. VA Blue Button is VA’s way to download your medical data. You can use this to share information with a caregiver or a non-VA provider that you trust. 

“With VA medical Images and Reports, patients have the option of obtaining their images and reports online, eliminating the need to visit a VA facility to acquire a copy of their information” said VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This feature aligns with VA Blue Button’s concept, which simplifies patient access to their personal health information by allowing them to retrieve it securely online.”

For the most part, it will take three days from the time the study is confirmed to when you can access it online. The online resolution of the images and report will be a lower quality. You can download a zip file that contains the report with diagnostic quality images. For studies with larger files you can get an email notification when the study is ready to download.

Other items you can download from your HER include admissions and discharges, and the discharge summaries. You can also find lab results such as chemistry, hematology and microbiology and notes (going back to 2013) that have been completed and signed by all required members of your VA health care team. Pathology reports are available but it will take 14 days before they become available to download.

You can access the full VA Medical Images and Reports user guide here