VA Seeking Improved Collection of Eye, Ear Information; You Can Help!

VA is seeking help from VistA community members on ways to improve VistA's organization of eye and ear information. At present, information about the eye, ear, and eye and ear diseases and conditions appears not to be stored in any granular fashion within VistA.

There are several issues:

  • VA is trying to identify patients with eye injury or blindness. Currently the only easy way to determine this is a search on ICD9 codes.
  • The same applies to ear injury, disease, and hearing impairment.
  • It appears that no file within VistA contains fields to store the discrete eye or ear information captured during examinations and procedures. Eye or ear information is now stored in narrative form in notes, reports, and free text fields, which makes analysis and aggregation tedious and problematic.

If you or your facility have developed an eye or ear file that captures discrete eye or ear data elements, would you be willing to share your work with VA? We will be much obliged for any help you can provide. Please reply to this blog post, or send a message to one or both of the following.

Chris Rhodes
Strategic Investment Management
VHA Office of Informatics & Analytics

Mike Henderson
Director, Open Source Product Management