EHR, EMR, medical record

EHR, EMR, medical record

Two congressmen recently introduced bill for the termination of Department of Veterans AffairsOracle Cerner introduction of an electronic health record.

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Montana) and co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Bost (R-Illinois). Rosendale was recently appointed chairman of the VA Technology Modernization Subcommittee — this bill is his first piece of legislation in the new role.

“The Oracle Cerner EHR program is deeply flawed — causing problems for medical staff and creating significant risks to patient safety,” Rosendale said in a statement. “We cannot continue to implement this inadequate system at the expense of billions of dollars in government funding. We must hold the VA to the high standard of care promised to our veterans and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

Oracle Cerner did not respond to requests for comment.

It’s hard to disagree with Rosendale’s classification of EHR adoption as “deeply flawed.” The project has been plagued by setbacks since its inception.

Initially approved in 2017, the project was designed to install Cerner’s EHR (now branded like Oracle Cerner after that of Oracle A $28.4 billion acquisition company’s EHR) at VA hospitals nationwide over a 10-year period. A year later VA finalized its contract with Cerner, promising the vendor $10 billion to put its hospitals on the same EHR system as the Department of Defense. Shortly thereafter, the VA estimated the cost to be closer to 16 million dollars.

The effort is standing several delays and postponements since then. Last summer, VA officials said those back-to-back failures would likely triple the cost of the project — a total of about 51 billion dollars. This estimate included non-contract costs such as staff training and establishment of organization-wide EHR protocols. VA officials also predicted that implementation would take much longer than expected, about 30 years.

Both the VA and Oracle Cerner took responsibility for the long list of delays their project faced. VA is now conducting implementation in accordance with Virginia Electronic Health Records Transparency Act — a law President Biden signed last year to give lawmakers more oversight over deployment issues. Additionally, Oracle Cerner has a public board which measures progress on software issues and other issues affecting project success.

In addition to revisions to the price tag and graphics, harmful report also came out of the VA Office of Inspector General last summer. It said a software flaw in Oracle Cerner’s EHR caused 149 cases of harm to patients at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington. Because of the error, more than 11,000 orders for services such as lab work and specialty care were not delivered.

That prompted the VA to delay its upcoming rollouts of the new EHR to U.S. hospitals. In October VA extended that delay further, to June 2023. This decision was made to “identify challenges with the system and ensure that it functions optimally for veterans and for VA health care staff,” the department said.

It’s also worth noting that Rosendale and Bost’s new bill came just days after Mann-Grandstaff suffered service interruption caused by system updates that the Department of Defense was making to the overall EHR. Mann-Grandstaff was the first Virginia hospital to adopt Oracle Cerner’s EHR, and only four other medical centers (of the VA’s 171 nationwide) have implemented the software so far.

The legislation calls for an end to EHR implementation and for Virginia hospitals to revert to the department’s internally developed records management system. The bill says that although Oracle Cerner’s EHR was implemented in only five small to medium-sized facilities, it caused unacceptable levels of risk to patient safety, staff burnout and lost productivity.

Photo: invincible_bulldog, Getty Images

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *