Today, President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced that the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have taken the first step in creating a Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record. Currently, there is no comprehensive system in place that allows for a streamlined transition of health care records between DOD and the VA. Both Departments will work together to define and build a system that will ultimately contain administrative and medical information from the day an individual enters military service throughout their military career, and after they leave the military.

Access to electronic records is essential to modern health care delivery and the paperless administration of benefits, said the administration in a release. It provides a framework to ensure that all health-care providers have all the information they need to deliver high-quality health care while reducing medical errors. The creation of this Joint Virtual Lifetime Record by the two organizations would take the next leap to delivering seamless, high-quality care, and serve as a model for the nation.