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VA extends Oracle Health EHR modernization contract

The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended its EHR modernization contract with Oracle Health, focusing on improved system performance accountability.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the award of the second option period for its EHR modernization (EHRM) contract with health IT vendor Oracle Health.

Through the agreement, VA and Oracle Health will continue to partner on the federal EHR project as part of the EHRM reset announced last year.

The EHR platform, which VA first launched at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in October 2020, has faced ongoing system performance issues. VA officials have confirmed that health IT failings contributed to more than 150 cases of harm and the deaths of four veterans.

The 11-month option period award continues VA's focus on improving the federal EHR for Veterans while supporting the six VA healthcare facilities currently using the system during the EHRM reset.

"This announcement is a testament to VA's commitment to keeping the best interests of Veterans, VA providers and taxpayers at the forefront while maximizing resources in a fiscally restrained environment," Tanya Bradsher, VA deputy secretary, said in a press release.

"Executing the second option period of the contract allows VA and Oracle Health to continue to drive forward on the goals of the reset and future deployments," Bradsher continued. "VA remains committed to holding ourselves and our vendors accountable for resolving challenges with deployment of the Federal EHR and moving forward productively."

Negotiations for the second option period will focus on supporting EHR improvements and optimizations and achieving better predictability in system hosting, deployment and sustainment.

These objectives aim to aid VA's reset efforts toward resuming EHR deployments in the fiscal year 2025.

Hannah Nelson has been covering news related to health information technology and health data interoperability since 2020.

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