WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) recently co-sponsored legislation that would prevent the continued implementation of the Oracle Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities until significant improvements are made to the system.
“Efforts to modernize the VA electronic health record system are long overdue,” said Senator Tillis. “While I support these efforts, the transition to a modern EHR is overbudget and behind schedule, and I am proud to introduce this legislation that will increase transparency and accountability while ensuring we provide the high-quality, timely care our veterans deserve going forward.”
The EHR system was implemented at five medical centers since 2020 and has been a factor in the loss of veterans’ lives as well as decreased productivity and employee morale. Additionally, the system has faced system outages, put nearly 150 patients at risk and more than doubled in cost. After the VA Inspector General (IG) released a report in July outlining major concerns with the new system, VA paused further implementation of the EHR system. That pause was later extended until June of 2023.
The Department of Veterans Affairs EHRM Standardization and Accountability Act would establish a rigorous list of requirements that VA must meet before the EHR system can be implemented at more VA medical centers.
Senator Tillis co-sponsored the VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act last year to increase transparency around the Electronic Health Record Modernization program. This legislation was signed into law in July.
Full bill text can be found HERE.