Congressman rips Cerner VA software issues, demands immediate moves to remedy

U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., urged the Department of Veterans Affairs and Cerner leaders to immediately remedy issues between Cerner's EHR system and its retail pharmacy software that he blamed for "sapping productivity," of VA staff and putting veterans at risk.

In his April 8 letter Mr. Rosendale, ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, tells Donald Remy, VA deputy secretary, and Travis Dalton, government services president of Cerner, the following:

  • There is a technological issue between Cerner's PowerChart, a multi-entity EHR creation platform, and Cerner's Medication Manager Retail, software designed to help pharmacy clinicians facilitate accurate, beneficial medication therapy decisions and outpatient drug utilization and adherence management.
     
  • The issue hinders pharmacists at the Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center and the Walla Walla, Wash.-based Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center, who struggle with "a needlessly complicated, time-consuming, error-prone, double-entry process to prescribe medication that saps productivity and puts veterans at risk."
     
  • Mr. Rosendale urged the VA and Cerner to speed up the projected two-year timetable to make the EHR fully functional "today" and questioned why it wasn't originally part of Cerner's contract. 

On March 17, the Office of Inspector General released three reports highlighting safety concerns linked to the VA's Cerner EHR system. Included in the reports were challenges staff at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center had in managing mediation, care coordination and ticket processing. 

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