VA postpones Cerner EHR go-live

The Department of Veterans Affairs will delay the launch of its $16 billion Cerner EHR system, which was scheduled to deploy at a Spokane, Wash.-based facility in March, according to a Feb. 10 FCW report.

The go-live, which was scheduled to rollout at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, is expected to be delayed at least until the end of April, the publication reports.

In August 2019, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the department was on track to deploy the Cerner system at three VA facilities in March 2020. VA later confirmed in September that it planned to delay two of the go-lives, scheduled for Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.-based medical centers, until October 2020 but would keep the Spokane go-live scheduled for March. 

A VA spokesperson told FCW the department needs more time to finish building the EHR system.

"After rigorous testing of our new EHR, the department will need more time to complete the system build and ensure clinicians and other users are properly trained on it," the spokesperson said. "We believe we are 75-80 percent complete in this regard and will be announcing a revised 'go-live' schedule in the coming weeks."

Interfaces between the Cerner system and VA's legacy Vista EHR system and IT infrastructure are still being developed, according to the report. VA chose to postpose training on the new system because the agency did not want to teach users an unfinished system.

After firing the department's EHR modernization lead and deputy secretary James Byrne last week, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said on Feb. 5 that Mr. Byrne's removal would not affect the project.

Editor's note: This article was updated on Feb. 11 at 10:45 a.m. CT. 

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