Senate panel approves bill for more transparency on VA's IT projects amid EHR go-live delay

Following the delay of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Cerner EHR go-live, a Senate committee passed a bill last week that requires the agency to be more transparent about the status of its multimillion-dollar IT projects, according to a Feb. 20 FCW report.

Initially introduced in July 2019 by Sens. John Tester, D-Mont., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., the Department of Veterans Affairs Information Technology Reform Act of 2019 was reported favorably by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Feb. 13, according to the report.

The bill will require VA to ensure its entries and risk data on the federal IT dashboard is up to date. The agency must also report status updates on IT projects that cost more than $25 million over a three-year period.

Earlier this month, VA confirmed the delay of the launch of its $16 billion Cerner EHR system. The EHR was scheduled to deploy March 28 at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., and is reportedly expected to be delayed until the end of April. VA said it needs more time to finish building the system to ensure users are properly trained.

A Senate vote on the bill, which would cost $2 million to implement over six years, is expected soon, according to the report.

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