'Getting it right is far more important than hitting a date': VA re-evaluates $16B EHR rollout

After postponing the Cerner EHR rollout at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., the House Veterans Affairs Committee wants to rethink a clear direction for how to move forward with the go-live, according to Federal News Network.

"Getting it right is far more important than hitting a date on a calendar, and if there needs to be a delay to get the system to a place where veterans' lives are not at risk and the VA staff are ready to use it, then that's the right thing to do," said Susan Lee, subcommittee chairperson, reports Federal News Network.

"However, I’m concerned that as we've moved closer to the go-live date, we have been told repeatedly that there were no show-stoppers in the implementation, that testing was going great and things were on track. I get that in software development and testing conditions can change rapidly. But I require that the VA be transparent and accountable for its actions."

The go-live at the Spokane medical center, which is part of the VA's  $16 billion Cerner EHR system, was originally scheduled for March 28. Officials now don't expect the system to go live on the EHR until at least the end of April.

"After rigorous testing for our new EHR, the department will need more time to complete the system build and ensure clinicians and other users are properly trained on it," a VA spokesperson told FCW. "We believe we are 75-80 percent complete in this regard and will be announcing a revised 'go-live' schedule in the coming weeks."

Moving forward, VA officials want to develop a clearer sense of the rollout and go-lives at each medical center.

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