Alarming report from GAO details VA incompetency leading to low levels of user satisfaction.

by | Mar 16, 2023 | EHR & Interoperability

In a newly released assessment from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), it has become clear that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs to address their levels of user satisfaction. Issues have also been found regarding the EHR Modernization (EHRM) program, which was introduced by VA in June of 2017, with the aim of replacing outdated systems and adopting the e Oracle Cerner platform the DoD availed of at the time.

 The report found that users believe VA does not successfully share information on system modifications after deployment, despite the fact that the EHRM program developed a communication plan to engage with stakeholders involved in the implementation of the program. Alarming reports came from individual users, with one noting that they notice was not given prior to a system update that affected changes to their clinical procedures. The GAO also discovered that VA did not follow optimal practices for the change management strategy of improving the skill level of employees and their capacity to perform well.  Training is a clear weakness for the EHRM, which is troubling due to emphasis already placed on training objectives, site preparation, training milestones, and a general approach oriented around progressive improvement.

In an early report released in July 2021 report, the VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found a number of training-related problems, including the following:

  • insufficient training time
  • restrictions on the training domain
  •  difficulties with user role assignments
  •  gaps in training advice.

Most users have expressed unhappiness with the new HER, nd-user dissatisfaction with the system’s performance and training was revealed through VA surveys conducted in the last two years. Approximately six percent of end users believed that the EHR supported quality care, with only four percent stating that the technology helped them be as productive as possible. Moreover, VA has not established any goals for measuring customer satisfaction which is essential for improving as an association.

This comes following the VA releasing their own report detailing their plans to amend patient safety issues. The entity promised data collecting workbooks to provide accurate and trustworthy data collection that will be uploaded onto the new system, and further checks upon it being posted. The association also outlined how it will become more meticulous with the medical orders it handles for veterans, ensuring a individual employed with VA can view the order and that it is issue to the correct place. To mitigate unnecessary stress and better support VA’s organizational size, name conventions for the electronic health record will become standardized.

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