P Wei/Getty Images

The VA Is Planning New Health Record Deployments, Despite Critical Watchdog Reports

Two upcoming go-live dates for the Cerner health record at VA facilities in Washington and Ohio will proceed on schedule, the agency says.

Three highly critical oversight reports released this week will not delay plans to deploy Cerner electronic health record software at Veterans Health Administration facilities in Washington State and Ohio over the next two months, the agency said a statement.

The Office of Inspector General at the Veterans Affairs Department issued three reports on March 17 pointing to deficiencies in the implementation in the agency's Electronic Health Record Modernization effort – a $21 billion-plus, decade-long push to replace VA's homegrown health record system Vista with a commercial system from Cerner that is also being deployed at the Department of Defense.

The reports found that flaws in medication ordering, appointments scheduling and reminders, referrals, care coordination and more are increasing risks for VA's patient population. Additionally, weaknesses in the help desk services provided under the contract with Cerner are pushing VA clinicians into developing time-consuming and error-prone workarounds rather than waiting for the resolution of their service requests.

According to a statement from a VA spokesperson, VHA and the Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office "are actively working to evaluate all identified problem sets and develop action plans for any unresolved issues." 

VA is "on track" for deployments of the new system to go live at Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., on March 26 and the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System in Columbus, Ohio, on April 30.

Currently, the Cerner system is live at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., and is also in use in four outpatient clinics affiliated with Mann-Grandstaff and a back-office account center in Las Vegas. The system went live at Mann-Grandstaff on Oct 24, 2020.

The OIG reports contained multiple recommendations to VA for remediation, and in reply comments included in the reports, VA Deputy Secretary Donald Remy indicated that substantiated and unresolved findings would be addressed, with some targeted for completion next week and others to be finished by May 10. 

The OIG report did not call for a pause on future deployments.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., who represents Spokane and Walla Walla in Congress has been calling for a pause on the Walla Walla go-live since this February.

"Cathy is deeply concerned about the findings in the OIG reports released yesterday, " said Kyle VonEnde, a spokesperson for Rodgers, in an email to FCW. "They confirm what she has been saying all along: the electronic health record system has serious issues that need to be resolved. Until then, its rollout to the Walla Walla VA must be delayed."

Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Ind., who chairs a House Veterans Affairs Committee panel that focuses on oversight of the EHRM project, is also concerned about the reports, but stopped short of calling for a pause in deployments.

"Patient safety is our number one priority, and these reports from the VA OIG are very troubling and coincide with what staff in Spokane told me last fall," Mrvan said in a statement.  "I remain grateful for all of the dedicated VA staff who have been fighting to make this system work, but these reports make clear that there are significant issues with the implementation."

Mrvan announced a subcommittee roundtable to be held April 5 to hear from clinicians and leadership at the Walla Walla and Columbus facilities as well as  a hearing on April 26 focused on the reports themselves to include VA leadership, contractors and the Office of Inspector General.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.