The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is sticking to its schedule for the next two deployments of the Electronic Health Records Modernization (EHRM) program, despite a trio of recent reports from the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that found continued deficiencies with the EHRM transition.
The VA’s EHRM program has been under continued scrutiny for underperformance and delays, and the OIG’s recent reports found issues with the EHR ticket system, care coordination, and medication management system at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash.
The reports warned that “deployment of the new EHR without resolution of deficiencies may present risks to patient safety and affect providers’ treatment decisions.”
Taken together, the reports represent more shortfalls for a program that has been plagued by issues including underreported costs, deficiencies in training, and diminished employee morale.
In light of the three reports, the Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office (EHRM IO) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) “are actively working to evaluate all identified problem sets and develop action plans for any unresolved issues,” a VA spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk.
The VA spokesperson said the agency “remains on track” for the March 26 and April 30 deployments of the EHR program at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VAMC in Walla Walla, Wash., and the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System in Columbus, Ohio.
Last month, VA Chief Information Officer Kurt DelBene told reporters he is hopeful as the VA looks ahead to its next deployment site in Walla Walla, Wash. DelBene said the agency has “done a lot better job” in terms of establishing clear criteria before going live, as well as “being collaborative with the clinicians.”
“I feel particularly good about where we are right now with Walla Walla. But again, we’re going to look and see if anything changes that would require us to move that,” DelBene said. “We are on track, but we’re going to make sure that we’re responsive to the stakeholders when we make those decisions along the way.”