Lawmaker skeptical the VA's $16B Cerner EHR rollout will meet 2028 deadline

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One lawmaker has expressed concern that Cerner's EHR deployment with the Department of Veterans Affairs will be unable to meet its 10-year deadline in 2028, The Military Times reported Oct. 21. 

Six things to know:

  1. Donald Remy, deputy secretary of the VA, testified before the House Appropriations Committee that Cerner's EHR rollout will get back on track because "success is non-negotiable."

    "We will create the first EHR that allows veterans to access their healthcare records in one place, from the first day they put on their uniform to the last day of their lives," Mr. Remy said.

  2. Lawmakers expressed skepticism that the rollout can meet its deadline because it has paused several times. The rollout is currently paused and not expected to resume until 2022.

  3. "We’ve had a long string of leaders at the VA tell us that the intention is to finish in 10 years, that the intention is to be transparent, that the intention is to not affect patient safety. And none of that ever happens," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chair of the committee’s panel on veterans issues," the Times reported.

  4. Mr. Remy said the faulty rollout at initial sites could cause serious illnesses for patients, but none of the problems resulted in patient harm, according to the report. He told lawmakers the issues have been addressed.

  5. Ms. Schultz said the VA will have more frequent oversight hearings to ensure the rollout is going as planned, according to the report.

    "The only way we’re going to ensure we’re made aware of the comprehensive information necessary for our oversight is to have these hearings more frequently," she said.

  6. The VA has already migrated more than 24 million medical records to Cerner's EHR. The next sites to get Cerner's EHR will be in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Washington. Oregon and Idaho.

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