VA officials report smooth 1st go-live for $16B Cerner EHR: 4 details on project's next steps 

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The Department of Veterans Affairs launched its new $16 billion Cerner EHR system Oct. 24 at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash.

VA officials have dubbed the go-live a success, with the department's EHR modernization's Chief Technology Integration Officer John Short adding that the new infrastructure has been outperforming expectations, according to a Nov. 10 FCW report.

"The latency has been coming in much lower than the threshold that we required," Mr. Short said. He added that the effort to prepare end-user devices and infrastructure for the new system was so thorough that only one printer needed a software update to support the new EHR during the go-live.

Four details about the project's next steps:

1. In addition to the Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center, VA also deployed the new EHR at the West Consolidated Patient Account Center in Las Vegas. About 100 employees work at the patient billing center, but VA's CMO for the EHR Modernization office said the staff are handling the new changes well, according to a Nov. 9 Federal News Network report.

"We're seeing the normal adoption curve. We're already seeing that they're going from 'I don't know what button to push; I'm not sure what to do next,' to 'Why does this work this way, and why did we make this change?’ [They're] asking more questions about the standardized workflows that were put together."

2. VA is also assembling an after-action group to collect feedback from Spokane end users to help inform future EHR deployments. The implementation project is expected to run through at least 2028.

3. VA plans to deploy the second round of capability sets for the system in spring 2021. The department recently adjusted its go-live schedule and will next roll out its "1.1 capability set," which is a version of its Cerner EHR with interfaces and coding designed to support small- and medium-sized hospitals in the department's network, to hospitals in the Midwest.

4. The department plans to next deploy the EHR at its medical center in Walla Walla, Wash., followed by facilities in White City and Roseburg, Ore.

 

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