VA says 4 deaths linked to its Oracle Cerner EHR system

The Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed that the Oracle Cerner EHR system caused six incidents of "catastrophic harm" to veterans, and four of those incidents led to the death of patients, The Spokesman-Review reported March 15. 

In a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on March 15, VA officials told senators that one of the patient deaths occurred at the Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center and that the other three deaths occurred in central Ohio, where the new EHR system was launched in April.  

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said the harm caused to patients by the new system was "totally unacceptable." 

"At the end of the day, what I care about is getting this right for our veterans, and I do not believe that more money is what is going to solve this problem," Ms. Murray said. 

Ms. Murray said the news could cause senators to withhold funding for the project unless the issues are fixed.

This comes after the VA EHR Modernization Sprint Project Team identified four patient safety issues with the Oracle Cerner EHR system. 

The Oracle Cerner EHR implementation has been ongoing since 2020, and has been plagued with outages and delays

There are currently two proposed bills aimed at scrapping the entire modernization program.

Editor's note: Becker's reached out to Oracle Cerner for comment and will update the story if one is provided. 

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