Cerner posts update on Defense Department, Veterans Affairs EHR projects

Jessica Kim Cohen -

Travis Dalton, president of government services at Cerner, outlined early results and next steps for the EHR vendor's contracts with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in an Oct. 30 blog post.

Here's what he shared in the blog post:

Department of Defense. The DOD has completed go-lives of its new Cerner EHR, dubbed MHS Genesis, at four military treatment facilities. The DOD has previously said its EHR deployment will follow a "wave model," ultimately replacing all of the DOD's legacy healthcare systems, which encompass more than 9.4 million beneficiaries.

In his blog post, Mr. Dalton said the EHR implementation team is "well-positioned to soon kick off the next phase of deployment across military medical facilities in California and Idaho," integrating feedback from a report the DOD's joint interoperability test command team conducted to assess the functionality at the four initial sites.

"Though some have portrayed the report's findings as a setback for the program, these reports accomplished exactly what we intended," Mr. Dalton wrote. "We welcome the feedback from the [initial operational test and evaluation] reports as well as direct feedback from end-users and leadership at the [initial operational capability] sites."

Department of Veterans Affairs. In May, the VA finalized a $10 billion contract to implement a Cerner EHR systemwide during a 10-year period, beginning with test sites in 2020. Mr. Dalton said Cerner plans to apply lessons learned during the DOD's EHR rollout to the VA's project, while acknowledging that "the VA has unique challenges."

To address challenges specific to the VA's processes, Mr. Dalton said that Cerner is prioritizing engaging agency end-users and leaders throughout the implementation process. He highlighted Cerner has already hosted more than 400 government officials and industry partners at its company headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., to kick off the VA's Electronic Health Record Modernization project.

"Though our work is only beginning with the VA's EHRM program, we're continually engaging their leaders and end-users through local workshops and site reviews that are critical to implementation," he wrote. "EHRM will have ongoing innovation and health information exchanges among military and veteran care facilities and thousands of civilian healthcare providers throughout the program."

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