VA EHR glitch caused hospital and associated clinics to stop taking patients

A glitch related to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cerner EHR forced a medical center, associated clinics and a healthcare system to halt operations, The Wall Street Journal reported March 8.

Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, its associated clinics and the Columbus-based Central Ohio Healthcare System had to stop admitting patients and resort to paper records as the glitch, discovered March 3 during a software update, rendered an entire computer system unusable. 

The VA had to shut the system down for 21 hours between Thursday and Friday to conduct an investigation, which revealed that the source of the problem came from a coding defect that had caused demographic errors in about 205 patient records.

The glitch is the latest difficulty the VA has had with its $16.1 billion rollout of its new Cerner EHR system. 

In an audit conducted by the GAO from August 2019 to February 2022, physicians reported  they had trouble accessing patient data due to migrated data failure during the transfer of patient data from the VA National Data Center to Cerner's data center.

Cerner, which has been collaborating with the VA, declined Becker's request for comment.

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