OIG: VA’s Implementation of the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture Scheduling Enhancement Project Near Completion

“The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted this audit to determine whether the Office of Information and Technology and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) effectively managed the implementation of VA’s Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) Scheduling Enhancement (VSE) project. VA has struggled for almost two decades to replace its cumbersome and outdated medical appointment scheduling system. VSE was launched in May 2014 and was intended to be an interim solution to VA’s medical appointment scheduling problem. The OIG found the VSE project management team did not effectively manage the project to ensure scheduling enhancements were adequately developed and met users’ needs…”

“What the OIG Found

VA’s VSE project management team, which included OIT program and project managers and VHA project managers, did not effectively manage the project to ensure scheduling enhancements were adequately developed and met users’ needs. The audit team determined that VHA requirements for VSE were inadequate. The approved requirements specification documents were insufficient to help ensure the scheduling enhancements would meet VHA’s needs. According to VHA’s information technology project manager, OIT approved the national release and deployment of a version of VSE in April 2017. However, the OIG audit team found delays in deployment persisted until the final contract modification for VSE ended in September 2017. Six months after the VSE project was launched in November 2014, VA also issued a request for proposal for a newly designed Medical Appointment Scheduling System (MASS) that would serve as the long-term solution to replace the VistA scheduling system. Again, VSE was to serve as an interim solution only to provide temporary improvements to VistA scheduling while the acquisition of a long-term solution was pursued. In August 2015, VA awarded an indefinitedelivery, indefinite-quantity contract for MASS at a maximum cost of about $624 million over a seven-year period. However, in April 2016 testimony to Congress, VA officials at the time stated they put MASS on hold while they continued with the development of VSE. This was because VSE project leaders decided that improvements planned as part of the VSE effort could be achieved at a much lower cost than MASS, with a faster implementation time frame, and result in an easier-to-use scheduling application with increased user satisfaction and reduced workload…” Read the full report here.

Source: VA’s Implementation of the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture Scheduling Enhancement Project Near Completion – August 20, 2019. OIG.

 

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