June 10, 2023 12:24 am

Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Appropriations Committees leaders spearhead work to restructure, improve, and enhance the new EHR system whilst escalating oversight on behalf of veterans, VA personnel, and taxpayers

(Washington, D.C.) – These days, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are spearheading a legislative push to provide a total overhaul of the Division of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Electronic Overall health Record Modernization (EHRM) system.

The Senators will be introducing complete legislation in the coming days that would need VA to implement a series of EHRM reforms to far better serve veterans, healthcare personnel, and taxpayers. Their bill would restructure, improve, and strengthen the whole EHRM system whilst also mandating aggressive reporting to Congress to enhance oversight, accountability, and transparency following a series of challenges with the program and system, which includes these identified in VA’s current EHRM Sprint Report and a critique from the Government Accountability Workplace. This is just the most recent in a series of challenges connected to the system which launched in 2017 and was deployed at the 1st VA hospital in 2020, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been clear from the start—VA can’t continue with its existing EHR program till it operates for providers and keeps sufferers protected. This legislation will place into law the type of aggressive oversight important to repair the existing system—that’s my 1st priority,” mentioned Senator Murray. “Importantly, this set of reforms will also overhaul the contracts and acquisitions course of action so that the challenges we’ve observed these final handful of years can be prevented in the future. I want to make certain the committed providers at VA can do their jobs and that our veterans are having the higher excellent care they have earned and deserve. Let’s pass the EHR System RESET Act as quickly as doable.”

“It’s clear that the new EHR program is failing veterans, healthcare personnel, and taxpayers, and we will need aggressive measures to proper this ship and get a far better return on investment by means of this contract,” mentioned Chairman Tester. “That’s why my colleagues and I are placing forth complete legislation to enhance transparency and oversight more than the new electronic wellness record system—holding VA and Oracle Cerner accountable on behalf of the guys and females who risked their lives to defend our nation. Veterans deserve practically nothing much less, and I will not back down from our continued commitment to safely provide them the wellness care they will need and earned.”

“Too quite a few veterans and workers have faced confusion and unnecessary complications for the reason that of VA’s Electronic Overall health Record rollout. VA requirements a reset, and need to meet precise metrics on patient security, expense, and VA employee productivity, to enhance morale and enhance veterans’ experiences when they turn to the VA for care,” mentioned Senator Brown. “As VA staff at Chalmers in Columbus continue to function by means of challenges connected to Oracle Cerner’s item, I’ll continue fighting for them, and for the veterans they serve, to enhance this system ahead of the Division moves forward with any other VA facilities.”

Amongst its quite a few provisions, the Senators’ legislation would need VA to:

  • Create clear metrics to guide whether or not and how VA must go forward with the new EHR at more VA facilities and need more sources to assistance these facilities
  • Call for VA and Oracle Cerner to repair the technologies characteristics connected to the wellness security and delivery challenges identified in VA’s March 2023 Sprint Report
  • Not move forward with the new EHR at other VA wellness facilities till the information at the current 5 facilities demonstrates an capability to provide wellness care to veterans at requirements that surpass metrics making use of VA’s VistA program or that meet national wellness operations requirements as determined by the Below Secretary for Overall health
  • Appoint a lead senior negotiator and leverage other federal agencies and independent outdoors professionals to present guidance and approaches for managing aggressive EHR contract negotiations with Oracle Cerner to guard taxpayers and veterans
  • Create an option “Plan B” approach for a new EHR in the occasion Oracle Cerner will not agree to new contract terms that guard taxpayers and enhance accountability and penalties for poor functionality or when VA information shows it can’t get the technologies to function to serve veterans effectively and safely
  • Reform big acquisitions at VA to avert future applications with poor contracting, oversight, management, and preparing from occurring and
  • Call for an current VA Advisory Committee to add wellness care professionals with confirmed expertise implementing EHR deployments to advise VA leaders on possible approaches on how to enhance VA EHRM’s implementation primarily based on prior lessons discovered in the private and non-profit wellness sectors.

The legislation would also need the Division of Defense (DoD) to report to Congress quarterly on actions it is taking repair DoD information and facts technologies systems, which includes these which are outdated and are negatively impacting VA’s capability to provide wellness care, positive aspects, and other solutions, which includes by means of the new EHR.


Leave a Reply