Daniel Tellez 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), U.S. Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and U.S. Representative Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) remain concerned about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) rollout of the new Electronic Health Record (EHR) system at the Boise VA Medical Center (VAMC), which has been postponed indefinitely from the original go-live date of June 25, 2022 and the delayed go-live date of July 23, 2022.

“As the VA works to determine a viable path forward for the new EHR system, we once again call on VA and Oracle Cerner leadership to put veterans first by fixing the long-identified issues with the program that pose a threat to patient care,” said Idaho’s Congressional Delegation. “Before the system is rolled out at any additional sites, it must be made safe, reliable and user-friendly.”

While initially intended to improve care coordination and increase efficiency, over the past year, the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has released multiple reports detailing deficiencies with the new EHR system, which was first deployed at the Mann-Grandstaff VAMC in Spokane, Washington. These deficiencies have led to delays in patient care, refilling prescriptions and managing referrals, among other things. In April, the Idaho Congressional Delegation raised concerns to the VA regarding these OIG reports and requested information on steps being taken to ensure these issues do not further impede veteran care during the planned rollout at the Boise VAMC. Though a few of these deficiencies have been addressed, numerous outstanding issues remain.

In addition to Delegation staffs’ numerous meetings with Veterans Health Administration stakeholders, staff members from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs recently visited the Boise VAMC to meet with hospital leadership and providers at the request of the Delegation.

“As the VA reassesses the Cerner implementation at the Boise VAMC, Members and staff of the Idaho Congressional Delegation remain committed to working with the VA, the Boise VAMC and veterans to ensure our veterans receive the quality care they deserve,” the Delegation continued. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation and stand ready to assist veterans with any issues they may encounter when accessing VA health care.”