VA Electronic Record System ‘Not Yet Stable Enough’ for Planned Rollouts

The Veterans Affairs Department will be delaying future rollouts of the Cerner Millennium electronic health record system amid ongoing technical issues and a pending inspector general report detailing significant patient harm as a result.

The commercial EHR system was first deployed at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington in October 2020, after several delays. Following yet more delays while the incoming administration reviewed the program, the system was deployed at additional medical centers in the northwest in March of this year and in Ohio in May. But persistent outages—including at least 11 in the last three months—and technical issues have led to worsening care for veterans, prompting VA leadership to reevaluate the rollout schedule.

In an internal VA email distributed Wednesday and obtained by Nextgov, officials told staff an upcoming deployment at Boise VA Medical Center originally scheduled for this week—June 25—is now set for July 23.

“These additional few weeks will give Boise time to complete important staff training, give Oracle Cerner the time to finish the site’s scheduling grids, and ensure provisioning of staff,” the email states, noting, “This decision was made with input from [Veterans Health Administration] stakeholders, including site and [Veterans Integrated Services Networks] leadership.”

Similarly, the planned deployments at Puget Sound VA Health Care System set for August and VA Portland Health Care System set for November are being pushed out at least until March and April of next year, respectively, as VA and Cerner work to strengthen the system.

“In evaluating Puget Sound’s and Portland’s readiness for deployment,

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