While lawmakers and officials expect work to continue as planned, an insider warned that layoffs at Oracle Cerner targeted a clinical team that worked to implement new electronic health record systems.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said it plans to delay future rollouts of the new EHR system until it is confident that the software “is highly functioning at current sites and ready to deliver for veterans and VA clinicians at future sites.”
The top Democrat and Republican on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee have started bipartisan negotiations to address the Department of Veterans Affairs’ troubled rollout of its new electronic health record system.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, which announced last October it was pausing rollouts of its new EHR system until June 2023, said it “is not yet ready” to move forward with the software’s scheduled deployment at the VA Saginaw Healthcare System.
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Mike Bost, R-Ill., said Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress are largely aligned “on what we know we want to fix and the problems that we’re seeing” with the deployment of VA’s new EHR system.
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester said that VA should “negotiate an entirely new contract” with Oracle Cerner following the revelation that the EHR system has resulted in the deaths of four veterans.
The U.S. comptroller general told members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee that VA has spent “over $1.7 billion dollars for failed predecessor electronic healthcare record systems” prior to the new Oracle Cerner EHR system.
After leading GOP lawmakers introduced legislation to terminate the deployment of VA’s new electronic health record program, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.—chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee—said upgrading the system “has to be done.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress are continuing to support the rollout of the agency’s new electronic health record system, even as lawmakers remain concerned about the project’s cost and effectiveness.