VA delays Oracle Cerner EHR rollout for three hospitals, says EHR needs 'improvements'

The Department of Veterans Affairs is delaying the rollout of its Oracle Cerner EHR modernization program at three hospitals after facing criticisms, delays and outages at its other locations.  

The EHR rollout will be delayed at Boise (Idaho) VA Medical Center; Seattle, Wash.-based VA Puget Sound Health Care System; and VA Portland (Ore.) Health Care System, according to a June 30 press release.

Seven things to know:

  1. The Boise VA Medical Center, originally scheduled to go live with the new EHR system on June 25, will now go live on July 23.

  2. VA Puget Sound Health Care System, originally scheduled to go live with the new EHR system in August, will now go live in March 2023.

  3. VA Portland Health Care System originally scheduled to go live with the new EHR system in November, will now go live in April 2023. 

  4. The decision to delay the EHR rollout comes after Congress had expressed concerns over the system.
     
  5. Terry Adirim, MD, program executive director of VA's Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office, said the extended time gives Oracle Cerner time to put system enhancements in place and to make improvements to the software.
     
  6. ​​The Oracle Cerner system has caused harm to 148 veterans at Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center who rolled out the system in October 2020.

  7. The EHR system saw a total of 42 "unplanned degradations" and eight "unplanned outages" between its launch in 2020 and April 20, 2022

"We are still improving our ability to scale to larger sites," said Dr. Adirim. "We are taking the extra time to incorporate lessons learned from earlier sites and to offer more at-the-elbow support and training for employees who will be using the new system." 

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