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Rollout of New EHR System Delayed by VA


February 13, 2020

A $16 billion electronic health record system (EHR) that was set to launch in March will not go live as intended due to a delay by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).  

The VA intended on rolling out the new system at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, on March 28, 2020. However, according to a report on FCW, the EHR rollout will now be pushed back at least until the end of April.  

"After rigorous testing of our new EHR, the department will need more time to complete the system build and ensure clinicians and other users are properly trained on it," VA spokesperson Christina Mandreucci told FCW. "We believe we are 75-80 percent complete in this regard and will be announcing a revised 'go-live' schedule in the coming weeks." 

The news of the delay comes just a week after the dismissal of former VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne*. During his five months at the agency, Mr Byrnes was a key leader in updating the members of Congress on the progress and challenges of the project implementation. Further, according to FCW, the VA was faced with potentially training Spokane employees on an unfinished system, which led the agency to cancel its currently scheduled trainings.  

"VA should take the time it needs to get this $16 billion dollar implementation right, but it needs to be transparent with Congress," Rep. Mark Takano, D-California, chairman of the House VA Committee, said in a statement, FCW reported. "We are all charged to work on behalf of our nation’s veterans—a short-term delay is far better than rushing through a critical EHR transition that will strongly impact veterans’ lives." 

The VA originally signed a $10 billion deal with Cerner in May 2018. The deal would allow the VA to move from its customized VistA platform to an off-the-shelf EHR to align the country’s largest health system with the Department of Defense (DOD). The DOD is already using Cerner’s MHS Genesis system.  

There are currently 130 operational instances of VisitA that will be replaced by the Cerner EHR.  

Julie Gould  

*Learn about the dismissal of Mr Byrnes

Reference:

Mazmanian A. VA delays rollout of new electronic health record. FCW. https://fcw.com/articles/2020/02/10/va-delays-cerner-rollout.aspx. Published February 10, 2020. Accessed February 13, 2020.

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