2 outages in 2 days for Washington VA's new Cerner EHR

Walla Walla, Wash.-based Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center's Cerner EHR system faced two outages in two days, FedScoop reported April 26.

On April 25, the Cerner EHR system went down for 127 minutes due to "load imbalance," and on April 26, the EHR system went down once again, for a total of 355 minutes.

Users across the Department of Defense, Coast Guard and clinicians at VA centers, were unable to access patient records through the system.

VA and Cerner executives told lawmakers that they are conducting an investigation into the April 26 incident.

"Cerner continues to work closely with our federal partners to address any and all concerns. This includes immediate response to system outages," Mr. Sargent told Becker's in an email. "We view any down time, however brief, as unacceptable and remain committed to empowering the delivery of timely, high-quality care to service members, Veterans, and their families through a modern, interoperable electronic health record."

As of April 28, all systems were up and running. 

The Wainwright medical center's Cerner EHR implementation went live March 26 and is a part of the VA's $16.1 billion effort, in partnership with Cerner, to modernize its EHR systems. 

Mass rollouts of the Cerner EHR have faced multiple setbacks that have prolonged the rollout of the new software in other VA care facilities and affiliates.

On March 3, the EHR system at Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center and associated clinics were affected by a software glitch that forced the hospitals to stop taking patients.

On April 26, executives from Cerner and VA officials testified at a congressional hearing held by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs to examine the future of the VA's electronic health record modernization program.

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