WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is collaborating with Kaiser Permanente, a leading member of the health care industry, to pool resources and ideas to solve some of the largest and most complex challenges in VA health care. "VA is always on the lookout for opportunities for partnerships with the private sector and other federal agencies to enhance care for Veterans,"said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We are proud to partner with Kaiser Permanente for the health and wellbeing of our Nation's Veterans." The partnership will enable more effective research and sharing of "best practices," focusing initially on four areas: Telehealth and virtual care; Genomics; Care of Veterans who are members of Kaiser Permanente; and Advanced analytics to use large data sets and population management with appropriate patient privacy protections. Together VA and Kaiser Permanente will develop recommendations for how to design care using advanced analytics and technologies as well as research. This is not the first major collaboration between the two organizations. In 2010, Kaiser Permanente and VA launched a pilot program to exchange medical data using the Nationwide Health Information Network. The innovative pilot, launched in 2009, allows clinicians from both organizations to obtain a more comprehensive view of a patient's health record using electronic health record information, including information about health issues, medications and allergies while ensuring that patient privacy and confidentiality are protected. "We are eager to continue to redesign the experience of our Veterans seeking health care to increase ease of access and quality of services,"said Patrick Littlefield, Acting Director of VA Center for Innovation, "We're excited about this partnership to make way for useful and tangible outputs." With over 8 million enrollees, VA operates the largest integrated health care delivery system in the United States, with a mission to honor America's Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. VA provides a broad range of primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support services. More information is available at http://www.va.gov/health/. VA is also the Nation's largest provider of health care education and training for physician residents and other health care trainees. VA advances medical research and development in areas that most directly address the diseases and conditions that affect Veterans and eligible beneficiaries.