Congress aims to require the VA to make 'progress reports' on its Cerner EHR rollout

If signed by President Joe Biden, new legislation would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to make quarterly reports on its progress with its Cerner EHR rollout. 

The legislation, passed by the House in November and by the Senate on May 26, would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit a progress report each fiscal quarter. The report would include details on expenditures, quality, safety and performance metrics. 

The department must also include a list of patient safety reports, incidents, alerts and disclosures. 

The action comes as the effort to introduce the system at VA hospitals and clinics continues to be dogged by delays and outages.  

The VA confirmed that its Cerner EHR system has been partly or completely unusable at least 52 times since its launch in 2020. 

A joint audit conducted by both departments' Office of Inspector General published May 5 also criticized the rollout saying the VA failed to achieve interoperability during their deployment of their Cerner Millennium EHRs. 

Both Cerner and the VA have been investigating the outages and working to mitigate the issues.

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