Shulkin to Senate: VA may need 6 months to develop Cerner acquisition, implementation

It may take up to six months for the Department of Veterans Affairs to finalize its plan for obtaining its new EHR system, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, told a Senate panel at a June 7 hearing, according to FWC.com.

Cerner will replace VistA — the VA's homegrown EHR — as its systemwide EHR, Dr. Shulkin announced June 5. The Department of Defense is in the midst of a systemwide Cerner rollout, however, the DOD and the VA will not adopt the exact same EHR.

At the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing, Dr. Shulkin told lawmakers the VA needs "approximately three to six months to come up with a plan [to acquire and implement Cerner EHRs]," the Business of Federal Technology reports.

Dr. Shulkin's written testimony referenced the Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act, which enables the VA to use $10 billion allocated toward veterans care. However, he did not say how that money would be divided within the VA.

"VA needs a different approach to ensure we can fully care for veterans. We need your help in modernizing and consolidating community care. Veterans deserve better, and now is the time to get this right," reads Dr. Shulkin's written testimony.

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