10 developments on the VA, Cerner EHR rollout

The Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with Cerner in May 2018 to design and deploy a new EHR across its care network that would put the department on the same records system as the Department of Defense.

Here's a breakdown of the project's developments over the past year reported by Becker's Hospital Review.

May 17, 2018. The VA finalized a contract with Cerner, awarding the EHR vendor $10 billion over the next 10 years to put the VA on the same records system as the U.S. Defense Department.

Feb. 26, 2019. VA officials defend the cost, which increased to $16 billion for additional infrastructure upgrades and project management support, and length of the project during a U.S. House Appropriations committee meeting.

March 6, 2019. VA officials and lawmakers meet March 6 and decide that the department will use the full 10 years of its contract with Cerner to develop and deploy the EHR.

March 12, 2019. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., searches for information technology experts to help monitor's Cerner's overhaul of the department's EHR system.

April 16, 2019. U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced legislation that calls for the creation of a third-party committee to oversee the VA's Cerner EHR installation.

May 1, 2019. At a House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the DOD's proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, some lawmakers begin to express frustration over the pace of the VA and DOD's progress on developing an interoperable EHR system.

May 16, 2019. VA Deputy Secretary Jim Byrne told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee during his confirmation hearing that the project could potentially move faster. He said he expects the agency to get a much clearer picture of its "ability to accelerate this rollout across the country" once the VA rolls out the initial operating capacity.

May 23, 2019. Fairfield, Calif.-based David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis announces it will go live on the DOD's new Cerner-supported EHR in September.

May 23, 2019. Teresa Boyd, assistant deputy undersecretary for health and clinical operations at the VA, testified before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs saying that the proposed third-party advisory committee is unnecessary.

June 4, 2019: Travis Dalton, Cerner's president of government services, defended speed of progress made toward interoperability between the VA and DOD's EHR systems at a House Veterans Subcommittee on Technology meeting.

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