WA Congresswoman Calls on VA to Terminate Oracle Cerner EHR System

Days after VA announced a reset of its EHRM project, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) called for the agency to “pull the plug” on the Oracle Cerner EHR system.

Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) is calling for the termination of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Oracle Cerner EHR system.

“The Oracle Cerner electronic health record system has been a complete failure. It has caused serious harm to patients, devastated morale amongst employees and providers, and created a crisis of confidence for veterans,” McMorris Rodgers said in a statement.

“I have long supported the goal of modernizing our health record system to better care for our nation’s heroes,” she added. “Unfortunately, despite billions of dollars and every possible opportunity for improvement, it’s become abundantly clear that there is no coming back from the mess the Department of Veterans Affairs has made with this deeply broken system.”

McMorris Rodgers announced her support for the Department of Veterans Affairs Electronic Health Record Modernization Termination Act (HR 608), which would discontinue the use of the Oracle Cerner EHR system.

“It’s time to pull the plug,” she noted. “We need to go back to a system that works immediately and deliver on our promise to give veterans in Eastern Washington the best care our country has to offer.”

McMorris Rodgers’ statement comes just days after VA announced it would halt all further Oracle Cerner EHR implementations indefinitely as it conducts a “reset” of its EHR modernization (EHRM) project.

VA officials said that during the reset period, the agency will fix the issues with the EHR identified during its recent “assess and address” period and redirect resources to focus on EHR optimization at the sites where it is currently in use.

“We’ve heard from Veterans and VA clinicians that the new electronic health record is not meeting expectations – and we’re holding Oracle Cerner and ourselves accountable to get this right,” Denis McDonough, VA secretary, said in a press release at the time of the announcement.

“This reset period will allow us to focus on fixing what’s wrong, listening to those we serve, and laying the foundation for a modern electronic health record that delivers for Veterans and clinicians,” McDonough added.

Officials noted that VA will not schedule additional deployments until it is confident that the new EHR is highly functioning at current sites.

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