The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is losing a key leader later this month in Terry Adirim, the program executive director of the Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office (EHRM IO).

A VA spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk that Adirim will depart on Feb. 25 to pursue other opportunities.

Dr. Neil Evans, senior advisor to the assistant secretary for the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) and chief officer of connected care at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), will step in as the acting program executive director on Feb. 27, until VA finds a permanent replacement.

“I appreciate Dr. Adirim’s medical and technical expertise, diligence, and commitment in improving and implementing the EHR and for all of her work in the EHRM IO,” VA Deputy Secretary Donald Remy wrote in a Friday staff memo.

“Dr. Adirim has worked hard on resolving patient safety concerns, useability problems, and system reliability issues, working to ensure the system is set up to support our health care professionals in delivering great care to veterans,” he added. “Through her efforts and leadership, VA has been making progress in these areas by improving standardization and usability of the system.”

Remy also noted that Adirim was “critical” to EHR deployments at four sites – Walla Walla, Columbus, Roseburg, and White City – within just three months of her arrival in December 2021.

However, she oversaw the EHRM program during a time of congressional scrutiny over program missteps and complaints from frontline staff. In 2022, VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports also revealed that deployment of the program had resulted in cases of patient harm and patient care issues.

Adirim’s departure comes just months before the VA is scheduled to resume its rollout of the EHR system. The agency made the decision in October to delay further deployments of its Oracle Cerner EHR system until June 2023 to address concerns with the system, assess performance, and ensure it functions effectively for veterans and VA health care personnel.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.