Federal News Network: What’s driving VA’s EHR delay? Congress, IGs begin oversight in earnest this week

“The Department of Veterans Affairs may face some tough questions this week, as Congress will attempt to better understand the real reasons behind the agency’s recent decision to delay the initial rollout of its electronic health record.”

“VA had previously assured members of Congress the initial rollout was on track, but members will soon question whether development and contracting issues, change management and staff concerns — or all of the above — are driving the delays with the department’s 10-year, $16 billion project.”

“Congress will begin its own oversight activities of the EHR modernization in earnest Thursday, with a hearing scheduled in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs on Thursday afternoon.”

“The House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization will host its own hearing on the recent EHR delays the following week.”

“VA had planned to implement an initial set of electronic record capabilities from Cerner at its first site, the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, on March 28.”

“But VA announced earlier this month it would pause the initial rollout, citing the need for more time to build the system and train clinicians on its capabilities…”

“VA has often acknowledged the scope and significance of a major change management initiative like the EHR modernization. The department has held roundtable discussions with clinicians, which VA has said were supposed to inform requirements and best practices for both developing and later using the Cerner system.”

“But the possibility of ‘scope creep’ is a concern, the committee staffer said. VA and the committee are now discussing the possibility of summer rollout of initial Cerner capabilities in Spokane, the staffer added.”

“Meanwhile, the inspectors general at the Defense Department and VA on Monday announced the start of a rare, joint audit of the departments’ efforts to launch a seamless, interoperable health record…” Read the full article here.

Source: What’s driving VA’s EHR delay? Congress, IGs begin oversight in earnest this week – By Nicole Ogrysko, February 26, 2020. Federal News Network.

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