VA Eyes July Launch for EHR System’s Initial Capabilities; Robert Wilkie Quoted

Robert Wilkie
Robert Wilkie

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to launch initial capabilities of its electronic health record system in July at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., Federal News Network reported Thursday.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told the House Veterans Affairs Committee Thursday the department may field new EHR capabilities sooner than the July target, but would delay the rollout if his expectations are not met.

VA originally scheduled the initial EHR launch on March 28 but Wilkie said he chose to postpone the rollout because the platform was not fully completed.

“When I reviewed it, the two portions of the program that were not ready for our clinicians were programs that were incredibly important, particularly to the [Pacific North]west, were travel and community care,” said Wilkie, a 2019 Wash100 Award winner. “Those programs weren’t ready.”

Richard Stone, executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, joined Wilkie during the House panel hearing to talk about the EHR initiative.

VA requested $4.9B for the EHR modernization project in its fiscal 2021 budget proposal, reflecting a $1.1B rise from the prior year’s requested budget for the program.

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