Federal News Network: ‘Missteps were ours,’ VA’s McDonough says of initial EHR rollout

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has technically finished a strategic review of its massive electronic health record modernization project, but the toughest work lies ahead.”

“The review, which VA initially launched in March after hearing concerns from employees at the first go-live site in Spokane, Washington, pointed to a whole host of tasks the department must complete to put the EHR modernization on a better footing — namely a new governance and organizational structure, as well as a new cost estimate and deployment schedule for the project.”

“VA Secretary Denis McDonough on Wednesday offered up his most concrete assessment of the initial EHR rollout to date, though some exact details are still up in the air.”

“The department uncovered “numerous patient safety concerns and system errors” with the Cerner Millennium system, which VA teams are still trying to mitigate and, in fact, define ahead of future deployments.”

“Veterans themselves were confused and frustrated with the transition to Cerner’s new patient portal, and Spokane employees didn’t train on the actual EHR before go-live. The training itself was ineffective, VA’s inspector general found.”

“The strategic review highlighted significant productivity declines and usability and data migration failures, which Federal News Network has previously reported and McDonough has hinted at recently before Congress and in the press.”

“During a hearing before the Senate VA Committee, McDonough described stories he heard from employees at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, who found workarounds when, for example, the EHR generated duplicate prescriptions and confused patients…” Read the full article here.

Source: ‘Missteps were ours,’ VA’s McDonough says of initial EHR rollout – By Nicole Ogrysko, July 14, 2021. Federal News Network.



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