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Med Care Res Rev. 2003 Sep;60(3 Suppl):92S-123S.

Pharmacy data in the VA health care system.

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  • 1VA HSR&D Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, USA.


Recent advances in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care data systems have greatly increased access to operational pharmacy information. This article presents a brief guide to VA pharmacy data sources: the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture files, the Pharmacy Benefits Management database, Decision Support System (DSS) National Data Extracts for inpatient and outpatient care, the planned DSS National Pharmacy Extract, DSS databases at local VA facilities, and the Non-VA Fee Basis files. Depending on the source, available data elements include patient demographics, clinical care information, characteristics of the medication and of the prescribing physician, and cost. Access policies are detailed for VA and non-VA researchers. Linking these sources to VA databases containing data on inpatient and outpatient services offers a comprehensive view of health care within several VA populations of general interest, including people over age 65 and those with physical and psychiatric disabilities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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