Feds allege Cerner knew about 'flaw' that caused harm to 148 VA patients

A draft report from a federal watchdog found that a computer system at Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center has caused harm to at least 148 veterans and claims that Cerner knew about the alleged "flaw" in the system, The Spokesman-Review reported June 19. 

The report alleges that Cerner knew about the flaw in the system, but failed to fix it or inform the Department of Veterans Affairs before its EHR system launched at Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center in October 2020. 

The draft report also includes details about a patient safety team that allegedly briefed Donald Remy, the department's deputy secretary, during the Cerner rollout at Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center, about the harm and ongoing risks. The report identified 60 different safety problems related to Cerner's system and identified the unknown queue issue as a top priority, according to the report. 

"We intend to bring substantially more resources to this program and deliver a modern, state-of-the-art electronic health system that will make the VA the industry standard," said Deborah Hellinger, senior vice president for global corporate communications for Oracle, which acquired Cerner on June 8. "We have a contractual and moral obligation to deliver the best technology possible for our nation's veterans, and we intend to do so."

Cerner did not respond to requests for comment from Becker's

Despite the warnings, the VA has since launched the Cerner system at facilities in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Ohio, but said it would halt the remaining roll outs in its other facilities until 2023.

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