VA secretary says removal of EHR modernization leader won't impact project

The Department of Veterans Affairs' removal of deputy secretary James Byrne, who oversaw VA's EHR modernization effort, earlier this week will not affect the project, according to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, FedScoop reports.

During a Feb. 5 press conference, Mr. Wilkie said Mr. Byrne's removal "will not impact [the EHR modernization project] at all."

VA is currently under a 10-year, $16 billion contract with Cerner to develop and deploy a new EHR across its care network. The system is scheduled to launch at its first site in Washington in March. Mr. Wilkie did not specifically address if Mr. Byrne's removal will delay the EHR go-live but said he "expect[s] us to be able to launch this. The mission goes on."

Mr. Wilkie told reporters that Mr. Byrne was fired for "not gelling" with other team members. VA officials John Windom and Melissa Glynn, who oversee the day-to-day management of the EHR program, remain in their positions. VA will provide the White House with recommendations of candidates to replace Mr. Byrne soon, according to the report.   

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