VA suspends Cerner EHR rollout amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Department of Veterans Affairs is postponing its $16 billion Cerner EHR implementation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Politico's April 6 Morning eHealth newsletter.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie confirmed the project delay on April 3, stating that the department will focus on distributing staff to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report.

Cerner told Becker's Hospital Review in an emailed statement that the Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR vendor supports VA's decision and is helping them revise the project's schedule. Other aspects of the implementation, including a joint health information exchange with the Department of Defense will deploy this month, according to Politico.

"Cerner is actively working with VA to reassess and revise deployment timelines while pushing forward on critical elements of the program including but not limited to: launching the new joint HIE, technical build, interfaces, IP and program management – keeping [EHR modernization] on track for a successful go-live," the company spokesperson said.

VA was initially scheduled to deploy the new Cerner EHR at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., on March 28. The department delayed the rollout because it needed more time to finish building the system. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the EHR was re-scheduled to deploy in July.

Last week, the DOD also paused the next wave of its Cerner EHR rollout, scheduled for June, to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

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