VA picks Cerner EHR; task force details cybersecurity imperatives
The Department of Veterans Affairs is beginning a multiyear transition to a commercial off-the-shelf electronic health records system from Cerner, initiating a switch from reliance on its decades-old EHR system. While the VA will not be adopting the identical EHR that the Department of Defense plans to install over the next five years, it will be on a similar Cerner platform. The U.S. military has started to deploy Cerner’s Millennium system, the same platform that has been named as the replacement for the VA’s legacy Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA).
“At VA, we know where almost all of our veteran patients are going to come from—from the DoD, and for this reason, Congress has been urging the VA and DoD for at least 17 years, from all the way back in 2000—to work more closely on EHR issues,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD.
House appropriators have provided $65 million in Fiscal Year 2018 funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ plan to switch to Cerner. However, the funds come with strings attached. The FY 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill states that no more than 25 percent of the funds can be obligated or spent until Shulkin provides details about the records system transition to both House and Senate appropriators:
The announcement by the VA that it plans to follow the lead of the DoD and acquire a commercial off-the-shelf EHR system from Cerner was met with approval from healthcare IT groups and stakeholders.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs’ selection of Cerner to develop its electronic health records system is wonderful news for U.S. veterans and their families,” said David Kibbe, MD, president and CEO of DirectTrust.