VA eyes robotic process automation for digitization of 5-mile-high EHR backlog 

The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a request for information on July 8 in search of a robotic process automation solution to digitize its backlog of about 600,000 medical records into its new EHR system. 

Last August, the VA Office of Inspector General published an audit that found VA facilities staff for years have failed to upload documentation into patients' EHRs in a timely manner; as of July 2018, at least 597,000 electronic documents still needed to be entered into the system.All together, the paper documentation that needs to be scanned would measure about 5.15 miles high, according to the audit.  

As the VA's new $16 billion Cerner EHR system approaches full operating capability, VA healthcare providers and staff must ensure that all old and new medical records are digitized and linked with the correct patients and clinicians, NextGov reports. 

VA's  request to  contractors  describes  the need to automate the document scanning process, identify documents that cannot be scanned  automatically and flag them for manual processing and provides metrics to help with future robotic process automation planning. 

VA plans to integrate the robotic process with its current VistA EHR system as well as the new Cerner Millennium EHR platform. Responses to the information request  are due July 30. 

More articles on EHRs: 
Incomplete, duplicated EHR problem lists linked to disease severity: study
VA launches longitudinal patient records platform: 4 notes 
SSM Health links EHR with local EMS systems for real-time data exchange

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