VA's $16 billion EHR project faces internal criticism: 5 details

The VA is under new scrutiny for the rollout of its $16 billion EHR modernization project, this time from within the department, according to Politico.

Five details:

1. The VA began implementing Cerner EHR software at its facility in Spokane, Wash., earlier this year and has since launched efforts at more facilities, including the West Consolidated Patient Account Center in Las Vegas. The American Federation of Government Employees said its members at the Las Vegas facility weren't notified before the new implementation, although the leader of the VA's Office of EHR Modernization, John Windom, said the union was engaged.

2. William Wetmore, a union official at the Las Vegas facility, said there are problems with the EHR's billing software upgrade: "It's not working properly. There are a lot of errors in it."

3. Separate VA groups have raised questions about who is managing the EHR transition and whether the project's technical capabilities, such as data-sharing, are sufficient. A Dec. 2 memo from the executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, Richard Stone, also raised questions about the ability to integrate the VA's legacy health records system into the new EHR.

4. Congress and veterans groups have raised concerns about the VA's plan to replace its existing patient portal. Mr. Windom said the VA is reviewing the portals before making changes.

5. The VA's EHR rollout has been delayed multiple times, including most recently by the pandemic.

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