Oracle Health EHR turns VA medical centers 'upside down'

U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana, chair of the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, said VA medical centers running on the Oracle Health EHR system have been turned "upside down."

Mr. Rosendale made the statement during a meeting with the House Veterans' Affairs Committee on Feb. 15, according to a press release from the committee. The meeting revolved around inaccuracies detected in the EHR system, which has been deployed at five VA medical centers. 

"They have had to increase their pharmacy staffing by at least 20% to navigate all the bugs and workarounds  — just to process roughly the same volume of prescriptions," he told the committee about the system. "That costs millions of dollars. But these are just five small and medium-sized hospitals."

Politico reported Feb. 15 that the "bug" in the system is tied to medication records for 250,000 veterans across the five medical centers running on the Oracle Health EHR. According to the report, the records managed with the Oracle software exhibited errors that could have led to unintended drug interactions and allergic reactions.

Mr. Rosendale said Oracle made a software update last April that corrected some of the system's errors, but that "there is still no solution to many of the others."

"I have come to believe that continuing this effort — to transform the Oracle Cerner pharmacy software into something completely different — is insanity," he told the committee. 

The VA has been working on a widespread rollout of the Oracle Health EHR system since 2020.

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