Despite deployment issues in 2022, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) EHR implementation is still set to resume in June, according to Nextgov’s reports. The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, is the first VA facility to use the Oracle Cerner EHR system in 2020. The system’s rollout across the VA system of hospitals has been bogged down by system failures, cost overruns, and patient safety issues.
According to a report from the VA Inspector General’s office published in July, Mann-EHR Grandstaff’s implementation inappropriately sent over 11,000 clinical orders for veterans to a queue without the physicians’ awareness. Officials from the VA said in July that they were delaying the implementation of all pending EHR systems until early 2023 in order to resolve technical and patient safety concerns related to health IT. Then, in October, the VA declared that the rollout of the software will now be delayed until June 2023.
Oracle has been striving to resolve difficulties with the EHR platform since it acquired Cerner in June. As of December 29, Oracle’s publicly accessible dashboard for tracking project progress revealed that the vendor had resolved eight issues that the VA had originally identified as priorities in briefings to Congress in February and May 2022, as well as in a letter the Congress sent to the VA on June 27, 2022. The dashboard includes four further issues that need to be addressed that are ongoing, four issues that are due, and four more that are still in development. Additionally, VA is moving ahead with the implementation of the EHR system, including the construction of physical facilities to facilitate the software’s introduction at upcoming medical institutions.
In December 2022, VA released a pre-solicitation notice on surrounding a a fixed price contract relevant only to the construction of EHR training, in addition to the admin space support in a Missouri based VA center.
A VA representatitive stated that that the released notice heavily focused on the upcoming infrastructure improvements to aid in the developement of EHR modernization at the Missouri center. The importance of the timing was also mentioned, with the infrastructure development being noted as not a main indicator of Oracle-Cerner’s upcoming development plans for the year. VA ensured that the training center should be fully operational well in advance of the launch.