McMorris Rodgers Statement on VA Deputy Secretary’s Visit to Mann-Grandstaff
Spokane, Wash. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today released the following statement after her visit to Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center with Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Donald Remy.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to join Deputy Secretary Remy during his visit to Mann-Grandstaff yesterday. I cannot emphasize enough just how important it was for him to come to Spokane and see firsthand the complications caused by the new electronic health records system, which happened to be down for 45 minutes during his visit,” said Rodgers. “The continued problems with the new system – pharmacy and prescription errors, unannounced shutdowns, a growing backlog of tickets needing attention – have caused veterans and care providers an unacceptable amount of stress and frustration. On top of that, incessant delays in restoring 24-hour urgent care access at Mann-Grandstaff have further undermined veterans’ confidence that they will have access to care when and where they need it most. As I told the deputy secretary yesterday, we must do better. Veterans in Eastern Washington deserve a system that works for them, and I’m going to fight to make sure they get it.”
During their visit, Rodgers and Remy met with health care providers, clinicians and nurses, and representatives from Cerner.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS:
- In March 2021, Cathy called for a review of the Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center. Her request was immediately agreed to by Department of VA Secretary Denis McDonough.
- In May 2021, Cathy continued to advocate for veterans, working to restore 24/7 urgent care and to address the community care backlog at the Mann-Grandstaff medical center.
- In June 2021, the review was completed and revealed problems at Mann-Grandstaff that must be resolved before the system is deployed at additional VA sites.
- In July 2021, Cathy called for increased transparency around the 90-day strategic review of the Cerner EHRM at Mann-Grandstaff and urged Secretary McDonough to address concerns around the real improvements that have yet to be made to the system.
- In November 2021, Cathy testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee and encouraged Deputy Secretary Remy to join her on a visit to the Mann-Grandstaff. The deputy secretary later canceled the visit.
- In February, Cathy called for the immediate delay of the EHR to the Walla Walla VA Medical Center until the issues with the system were resolved.
- In March, Cathy released a statement following the crash of the Cerner EHR at Mann-Grandstaff that resulted in the system being offline for a full day.