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Digital Modernization

VA Probing Latest Outage in New Electronic Health Records System

EHR issue

VA Probing Latest Outage in New Electronic Health Records System

The Department of Veterans Affairs said it is currently investigating a disruption in its electronic health records that hit all Cerner Corporation-supplied systems across the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard on Wednesday. The executive director of the VA’s EHR Modernization Integration Office said the outage was traced to an Oracle server but the root cause is still being determined, Federal News Network reported Thursday.

Terry Adirim, who leads the office, told reporters that VA personnel had to switch to manually documenting patient encounters during the service outage. She said that despite the disruption in the EHR system, the affected health care facilities still provided services as usual.

Adirim said that the VA’s staff were assured that such disruptions will not become a routine occurrence despite a series of similar events recently. The VA is presently dealing with a second technical glitch, which is localized to the Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center in Spokane, the site of the first EHR launch. This follows the troubled EHR launch in the city, which was marred by a series of technical issues.

Meanwhile, Deputy VA Secretary Donald Remy said the agency is working closely with Cerner to diagnose the problem. He said the VA is in “close contact” with Cerner to identify how the problem arose and what can be done to make sure that the same thing does not happen in the future.

On its website, the VA explained that it is transitioning to a new EHR system, the software that stores health information and tracks all aspects of patient care, over a 10-year period scheduled to end in 2028. The new system is intended to connect VA medical facilities with the DOD, the USCG and participating community care providers, allowing clinicians to easily access a Veteran’s full medical history in one location. 

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Category: Digital Modernization

Tags: Cerner Department of Veterans Affairs digital modernization Donald Remy electronic health records Federal News Network Oracle system outage Terry Adirim