The Department of Veterans Affairs will forge ahead with implementation of its electronic health records modernization program at multiple locations in early 2022, according to a detailed timeline of the new schedule.
The new plan retains much of the previously announced timeline for the new EHR system rollout, but with several anticipated delays. The next site to get the system after the Mann-Grandstaff medical center went live in October 2020 will be Columbus, Ohio, on March 5, 2022. After that, Walla Walla, Washington, will go live with the new tech March 26, according to the document updated Nov. 19 and obtained by FedScoop.
Other key dates include the rollout at two of the Army’s largest bases, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. They are scheduled to get the new system by March 19, 2022.
Later in the timeline, Portland, Oregon’s VA Medical Center is slated for a Nov. 5, 2022, deployment. Chicago’s VA center will get the system in September 2023, and Iowa City, Omaha and Des Moines are slated to receive it a month later in October 2023. Minneapolis ends the timeline with a December 2023 deployment date.
The timeline confirms previous statements from VA officials about when launches will continue but is the first detailed account that explains which sites will get the system and when.
Lawmakers have been pressing VA to fix problems at the Mann-Grandstaff in Spokane, Washington, since patient safety issues were identified after the system first went live. Delays in filling prescriptions and other patient safety issues were reviewed and the new schedule was announced along with the creation of two new management roles to over see the program.
Speaking at a hearing in November, Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., said the decision to move ahead appeared to have been made “without demonstrating tangible improvements at Spokane, without putting forward quality metrics, and seemingly without the VA meeting its own criteria to move forward.”
Of the VA’s 18 Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISNs), the schedule starts with deployments to VISNs 10, 20, 23, and 12 first, according to the timeline.
VISN 20, which covers the Pacific Northwest, will be the first to have the EHR at multiple sites. After Walla Walla, the VA facility in Roseburg, Oregon, the White City site in southern Oregon and the facility in Boise, Idaho, are planned to get the new EHR in June 2022.
VISN 10, which covers Ohio, Minnesota and Indiana, is the next area planned to get the system. VA centers in the Michigan cities of Ann Arbor, Saginaw and Battle Creek are planned to all get the new tech Oct. 8, 2022, according to the timeline.
The timeline also shows when the system itself will be upgraded. Every February and August are blocked off for upgrades the next two years, according to the document.