VA committee chair calls Cerner EHR rollout a 'nightmare'

Costs for the Veterans Affairs Department's Cerner EHR rollout continue to soar, causing tension between the VA and Congress, with some lawmakers wanting to ax the program, while others advocate for the VA to take one more shot at the implementation, Politico reported July 21.

In 2018, the VA's EHR costs were initially projected to be $10 billion over 10 years but have grown to $50.8 billion over 28 years. These upticks have caused some lawmakers to want to shut down the project. 

There have been several bills introduced to end the program as issues with the EHR system continue. According to the publication, the VA's Cerner EHR system led to the deaths of four patients, and it has suffered outages at facilities that have implemented it. 

"It has been a nightmare," House Veterans' Affairs Chair Mike Bost, R-Ill., told the publication. 

More than a dozen officials who have been involved or are intimately familiar with the EHR project told Politico that "the system's problems are myriad."

"The program was never designed to be successful," Peter Levin, a former VA chief technology officer, told the publication. "Not making difficult choices and not making good choices is costing, at the very least, taxpayers billions of dollars."

Oracle, which acquired Cerner in 2022, declined Politico's request for comment. 

Currently, the VA has one more try to get the EHR system deployed to its remaining facilities after it decided to halt the system rollout at additional facilities until it is deemed "highly functioning" at the five facilities that have already implemented it. 

The VA also renegotiated its contract with Oracle Cerner.

In 2015, Cerner won a contract with the Defense Department to replace its EHR system.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars