Acting VA CIO sets May 28 deadline for Cerner contract

Department of Veterans Affairs Interim Secretary Robert Wilkie plans to award Cerner an estimated $16 billion contract for the agency's EHR modernization project by May 28, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Cerner and the VA have been negotiating a deal since the summer of 2017 when then-Secretary David Shulkin, MD, announced the VA selected Cerner as the result of a no-bid contract to overhaul its legacy EHR, VistA. The VA wanted to be on the same EHR as the Department of Defense, which at the time, was in the process of transitioning to Cerner and had already went live on the system at four of its facilities. However, questions arose as to whether the DOD and VA's EHRs could be interoperable, which caused the contract hangup.

Several leadership changes at the VA — including its CIO's resignation and Dr. Shulkin's firing — may have also contributed to the delay, although former CIO Scott Blackburn said his departure likely won't  affect the project.

Mr. Wilkie has been serving as acting VA secretary since Dr. Shulkin was ousted earlier this year. President Donald Trump nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson, MD, to head up the agency, but he later withdrew from consideration after allegations of personal misconduct were brought to light.

More articles on EHRs:  
2.2k consultants working on Epic rollout at Mayo cause parking woes for employees
Jonathan Bush: EHRs should give physicians what they need, not burn them out — So I'm deconstructing it
Physicians were burnt out long before EHRs, according to this 2002 report

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