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Roe, Banks Statements Ahead of Initial Electronic Health Record Modernization Go-Live

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Washington, October 23, 2020 | Samantha Gonzalez | comments

Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, released the following statements ahead of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) launch of the Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, its four associated community-based outpatient clinics, and the West Consolidated Patient Account Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, tomorrow.

“Tomorrow marks a momentous step on the long road to delivering a seamless, lifetime health record for our nation’s servicemembers and veterans,” said Ranking Member Roe. “VA has been attempting to modernize its electronic health records system for many years, making it one of the earliest issues I worked on when I came to Congress nearly twelve years ago. While previous attempts came and went, I am proud to say that real progress is finally here with the go-live of the Cerner system in Spokane. I know from personal experience that any electronic health records implementation is difficult and disruptive, even in a single medical practice, and the VA health care system stands alone in its size and complexity. I commend Secretary Wilkie and the entire team at VA and Cerner for their hard work and good judgment to take the necessary time to prepare for this day. My colleagues and I look forward to a successful implementation this weekend and stand ready to work with VA to resolve any inevitable hiccups in a transparent and timely fashion and provide the support needed to continue this progress for the veterans we serve.”

“Nothing about Electronic Health Record Modernization has been easy, but VA is demonstrating that it can deliver results even in the midst of wildfires and a pandemic,” said Ranking Member Banks. “I am cautiously optimistic that the Spokane go-live will be a success, and I know we could not be in this position if the tough call had not been made in February to take the additional time needed to get it right. Tomorrow’s initial go-live is the beginning of a long journey, and in all likelihood the challenges will become more numerous moving forward. I am committed to rigorous oversight, transparency, and accountability to the public every step of the way. This effort is about much more than new software. It represents the opportunity for veterans and servicemembers to control their own health information and health care decisions, and it offers the potential for VA and DoD not just to keep pace with the marketplace but lead innovation in the whole health care sector.”

For more information, visit VA’s EHR Modernization website here.

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