Rep. Urges VA to Fix EHRM Pharmacy Clinical Workflow Challenges

The VA EHRM program lacks an interface between the Cerner EHR platform and its pharmacy module, presenting clinical workflow challenges.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) wrote a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) urging the agency to streamline pharmacy clinical workflows within its EHR Modernization (EHRM) program.

Rosendale, the ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, noted that the EHRM program requires a double-entry process for its pharmacy module.

He explained that the EHRM lacks an interface between the Cerner EHR and its Medication Manager Retail (MMR) module.

“Until a true bidirectional interface is put in place, pharmacists at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, the Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center, and any subsequent sites will struggle with a needlessly complicated, time-consuming, error-prone, double-entry process to prescribe medication that saps productivity and puts veterans at risk,” Rosendale said in the April 8 letter.

“This is the single greatest technical problem with the Cerner EHR, and it has created, directly or indirectly, more patient safety incident reports than any other factor,” he continued.

Rosendale pointed out that Mann-Grandstaff staff first highlighted this clinical workflow problem six months ago. Additionally, the EHRM Integration Office said that fixing the double-entry pharmacy process was a priority at least two months ago. However, Rosendale noted that it appears the VA has not taken action to resolve the issue.

Rosendale called on VA to issue contractual direction to Cerner to resolve the issue.

He said that such a project to write and test EHR code would typically take the Cerner roughly two years and called for the EHR vendor to accelerate the project.

“The Electronic Health Record Modernization program is already perilously behind in addressing this problem, and knowingly spreading it to other medical centers’ pharmacies would be irresponsible,” Rosendale wrote.

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