The VA Central Ohio Healthcare System was supposed to receive a new EHR system deployment in March, but COVID spikes overwhelmed the workforce.
The beleaguered electronic health record system modernization at the Department of Veterans Affairs––the agency’s longtime software project––suffered yet another delay, this time due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
VA officials announced the EHR rollout postponement on Friday afternoon. The software was scheduled to be piloted at the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System. The launch date is delayed from March 5 to April 30.
“Our primary mission is to serve veterans,” said Terry Adirim, the program executive director of the Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office. “As we see the pandemic surge in the Columbus community, we need to support the medical professionals while they focus their attention on meeting the health care needs of their patients. EHR deployment activities must be weighed against community health and can be resumed when it is appropriate to do so.”
Developing a modernized and centralized EHR system for veterans has been a priority on VA’s agenda for several years. Increases in cost projections and logistical and technical problems have previously hindered its deployment.
In December 2021, the VA announced a revitalization plan to better coordinate the EHR rollout. The system is set to replace the agency’s health IT system architecture and emphasize interoperability between different health care providers for veterans.