Continuity of Veteran Care

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VISTA Data Project

The VISTA Data Project provides a comprehensive cloud-based solution for access, interfacing, security, and management of the Veteran data within the VA’s VISTA systems

The U.S. Veterans Information Systems Technology and Architecture (VISTA) is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs integrated clinical, business, and administrative information system that support the operations of 1500+ Veterans Health Administration hospitals and clinics across the United States. (See: VISTA Background).

The 130 VISTA systems in operation today contain over three hundred million veteran-years of health data spanning nearly four decades, and continue to grow at the rate of over a million new clinical documents, lab tests, and radiographs each day. The VA Records Retention Schedule (Section 6000.2b: pdf text ) mandates that the veterans complete health record must be available in digital form for 75 years after the last episode of care. Comprehensive access to VISTA data is thus required to provide continuity of veteran care now, and for decades into the future.

VISTA’s data, however, is inconsistently defined within and across each of the systems, and has only piecemeal data access using thousands of cryptic code-based data extractors, leaving VISTA data undefined and inaaccessible. VISTA’s internal operational data model - which has evolved organically within each distinct VISTA system over the past 35 years - and which is the authoritative roadmap to all of VA’s institutional, business, and clinical processes and data - has never been leveraged for data management.

In the VISTA Data Project, VISTA’s internal operational data model is comprehensively exposed, enriched, and operationalized in a modern industry-standard computable form. This VISTA Data Model is in turn incrementally normalized across all VISTA systems to create a single national Master Veteran Data Model (MVDM), which enables secure read-write access for all data in all 130 VISTA systems using a single, modern, maintainable, industry-standard model-driven services interface.


The figure above summarizes the evolution of access to VISTA data: From thousands of unique, inconsistent, insecure, unidirectional, cryptic legacy code-based interfaces to that of a single, secure, modern, service-based, industry-standard, normalized, master veteran data-model (MVDM)-driven interface.