Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today kept the pressure on senior officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the glaring inefficiencies and issues with the Oracle Cerner Electronic Health Record (EHR) System that are causing harm to veterans in the community.
Earlier this summer, the VA Office of Inspector General found 149 veterans have been harmed by the EHR system, including Chewelah veteran Charlie Bourg, who is now battling terminal cancer that went untreated for months due to problems caused by the system.
On Tuesday, Cathy spoke directly with EHR Modernization Integration Office Program Executive Director Dr. Terry Adirim and Acting Senior Advisor Dr. David Massaro about her concerns with the ongoing issues plaguing the Oracle Cerner system. Today, she followed up on that conversation with a letter to the two officials reiterating her position that any further implementation must be delayed until the problems are resolved.
Below are excerpts from the letter:
“With Eastern Washington at the forefront of the VA’s difficult and harmful rollout of the Oracle Cerner EHR program, I continue to have concerns about the VA’s efforts to stabilize the program and make it functional for our nation’s veterans.
“Thank you both for speaking with me yesterday in an effort to address my ongoing concerns regarding the development and implementation of the Oracle Cerner EHR program. In reflecting on our conversation, I am further reminded of the magnitude of the emotional and administrative toll that the Oracle Cerner EHR program has had on the entire VA medical system.
“The Oracle Cerner EHR workflows must be optimized to make it easier for VA providers and employees to provide veterans with the services they need and have earned … and I am once again saying the EHR must be fully functional before it is rolled out to another VA facility.
“The VA is at an inflection point on the Oracle Cerner EHR program. Our nation’s veterans, and the hardworking men and women who serve in VA medical facilities, deserve an electronic health record system that is competent – a system that they can trust. The EHR meets neither of those standards right now.
“I look forward to continuing the conversation and working with you to stabilize the Oracle Cerner EHR program and ensure the health and safety of the nation’s veterans, especially those who call Eastern Washington home.”
Click here to read the full letter.