Military.com: VA’s $16 Billion Electronic Health Records Modernization Plan Is Failing, IG Says

“A $16 billion effort to give veterans lifetime electronic health records that meshed with the Pentagon’s has been marked by repeated delays and oversight failures that could have put patients at risk, according to reports from the VA Inspector General.”

“The IG reports released Monday detailed confusion in the overall implementation of the plan and failures to train staff and put in place adequate equipment for the pilot program, such as new laptops.”

“The first IG report, titled ‘Deficiencies in Infrastructure Readiness for Deploying VA’s New Electronic Health Record [EHR] System,’ looked at how the Department of Veterans Affairs went about implementing the initial $10 billion, 10-year contract with Cerner Corp. of Kansas.”

“The VA now estimates that the contract, awarded in May 2018 by then-Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie without competitive bidding, will now cost at least another $6 billion for management and equipment.”

“The second report focused on delays and failures in the pilot program, even after it was scaled back from three test sites to one at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Spokane, Washington.”

“One of the main findings of the second report was that patient safety at the Spokane facility could have been put at risk due to poor preparation for the planned switchover to the Cerner system in the pilot program.”

“The IG’s report found that the VA and the Spokane leadership failed to hire and train adequate staff to handle the transition, and overlooked the impact on how the hospital would continue to function while the inevitable kinks in the system were worked out…” Read the full article here.

Source: VA’s $16 Billion Electronic Health Records Modernization Plan Is Failing, IG Says – By Richard Sisk, April 28, 2020. Military.com.

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