DOD to pause Cerner EHR rollout for 8 weeks: 5 things to know

The U.S. Department of Defense and Cerner will halt the agency's EHR rollout for roughly eight weeks beginning Jan. 16, according to the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

Here are five things to know about the delay.

1. The rollout for the DOD's EHR, called MHS Genesis, kicked off at Fairchild Air Force Base outside Spokane, Wash., in February 2017. Tacoma, Wash.-based Madigan Army Medical Center, which went live on the EHR in October 2017, marked the fourth and final pilot site for the project.

2. During the eight-week break, officials from the DOD and Cerner plan to evaluate these four pilot implementations. Physicians and IT experts familiar with the matter told Politico some clinicians using the MHS Genesis system have cited workflow problems, such as issues with lab report requests.

An unidentified senior Navy physician told Politico MHS Genesis was developed without adequate insight from clinicians at the DOD. "They took the flows they'd designed for [Salt Lake City-based] Intermountain Healthcare, put them into rigid constructs and said, 'This is what you're going to use," the physician said.

3. U.S. Representative Phil Roe, MD, R-Tenn., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, told Politico he supported the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' recent decision to delay awarding its EHR contract — which builds off the DOD's system — to Cerner.

4. A spokesperson for the MHS Genesis project told Politico the pause will allow the EHR rollout to get back on track. The project will continue at other sites, beginning with facilities in San Diego, after an independent assessment approves the project's initial work.

5. In an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review Jan. 16, a Cerner spokesperson said the company is committed to working with the project's partners to "ensure the successful delivery of MHS Genesis."

"We are pleased with the adoption, performance and value that is being generated at the first four sites," the statement reads. "It is imperative to have an effective and efficient deployment process and system that can be standardized across all branches and at all U.S. military treatment facilities going forward. Our immediate goal is to work with DOD to make any necessary adjustments before the final deployment decision is made, allowing MHS Genesis to be deployed around the world."

More articles on EHRs:
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U of Wisconsin Health CMIO: Copy-and-pasting in EHRs is a 'blot on our profession'
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