President signs legislation requiring VA to make quarterly reports on Cerner rollout

President Joe Biden signed legislation June 23 that requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to make quarterly reports on its progress with its Cerner EHR rollout, WIBW reported June 23.  

The VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act of 2021 aims to hold the VA accountable and increase transparency through a requirement that the VA secretary submit reports to Congress about the costs, performance metrics and outcomes for its Cerner EHR system. 

The action comes as the effort to introduce the system at VA hospitals and clinics has been plagued by delays, criticisms and outages.  

Most recently, 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 draft report also 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. 

"Now that this legislation has been signed into law, we can make certain the VA is providing the proper transparency throughout the EHRM implementation. This will better allow the committee to conduct oversight during the deployment process to ensure veterans receive the care they deserve and hold the VA accountable for taxpayer dollars," said Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who introduced the legislation with Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

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