Written byCarten Cordell
Health care IT company Cerner has brought in some big guns to help advise on its work to build a new electronic health records system for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Kansas City-based company tapped former Democratic Sen. and Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerrey to head a nine-person panel that includes former VA and Commerce Department CIO Roger Baker and former head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT within the Department of Health and Human Services Karen DeSalvo.
The group offers a bevy of both health care and IT professionals with private and public sector experience. In addition to Baker, former VA Chief Technology Officer Marina Martin and former VA Secretary Lt. Gen. James Peake are also members of the advisory group.
Travis Dalton, a senior vice president at Cerner, said in a statement that the panel provides depth of knowledge that can help inform the company’s approach to the developing a records system for the $167 billion agency.
“As we work with VA to modernize its health record system, the incredibly accomplished members of this group will provide advice and guidance on our approach to improving every veterans’ experience across the system of care – both within VA and with community providers,” he said.
The move comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by San Diego-based CliniComp International, Inc. last month that alleges the VA violated federal law by awarding Cerner a sole-source contract to build an EHR system interoperable with the Department of Defense’s Military Health System Genesis, which is also operated by Cerner.
VA Secretary David Shulkin announced the contract with Cerner in June after the agency had previously attempted to develop its own update to the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA, system.
CliniComp alleges that the agency should have openly bid for the contract.