House plans to form panel to track VA's EHR overhaul

House lawmakers are planning to establish a new oversight panel tasked with monitoring the Veterans Affairs Department's EHR transition.

The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will meet July 12 to consider and discuss the new subcommittee.

"Over the last year and a half, we've made great strides toward reforming VA, but the most critical work is still to come," Chairman Rep. Phil Roe, MD, R-Tenn., said in a press release. "As the department embarks on the country's largest EHR overhaul, we must ensure veterans and taxpayers are protected during the transition."

VA finalized a $10 billion, 10-year contract with Cerner in May to replace its legacy, homegrown system, VistA. The overhaul will put VA on the same records system as the Defense Department, which began its Cerner rollout in February 2017.

Dr. Roe cited his past experience transitioning a private practice to a new EHR as the reason to establish this oversight subcommittee.

"Having personally gone through a transition to a new health record system in private practice, I know how much potential there is for a project like this to be a huge and expensive disruption, and Congress has a responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight throughout every step of the process," he said.

DOD's EHR modernization project hit a road bump after an April 30 report from the Department's Operational Test and Evaluation office evaluated the system's first pilot sites and found the EHR is "neither operationally effective nor operationally suitable." VA plans to use DOD's expertise and experience to ensure it sees a smoother transition.

"To be successful, the EHR modernization program will also require close collaboration between VA and the Department of Defense," Dr. Roe added. "I appreciate the Defense Health leadership's willingness to share their expertise, and I look forward to bringing stakeholders together through this new subcommittee."

VA is still lacking a permanent secretary after President Donald Trump fired Secretary David Shulkin, MD, in March. Robert Wilkie has been serving as acting secretary of the agency since.

More articles on EHRs:

ONC to work with CMS to reduce administrative burdens on physicians
Allscripts partners with MedAware for medication decision support
DrChrono teams up with Square for payment processing in EHR

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months