VA expects to add an integrator to health record mix

After coming to terms with Cerner on a price for its electronic health record system, VA expects to pivot to finding an integrator to handle legacy interoperability and change management.

VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin speaking at a June 20, 2017 Monitor Breakfast. Photo credit: Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
 

VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin speaks to reporters at a Washington, D.C. event. (Photo credit: Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

The Department of Veterans Affairs expects to strike a deal with a commercial electronic health records provider Cerner in about four months, and after that it will begin the process of finding a vendor or vendors to handle some of the tasks of integrating the new system with the VA's homegrown legacy Vista system.

"Right now my issue is getting there quickly," VA Secretary David Shulkin said about the shift to a commercial system. "I've determined the best way to do this is directly with Cerner, and we will be looking for help from what I'd call an integrator through separate procurement," Shulkin said at a June 20 breakfast with reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

The VA is going to face some tough hurdles in delivering a commercial system to its thousands of locations -- not the least of which will be designing the Cerner record to be interoperable with legacy data and applications.

"We … have a strong need to build back in ties to our current electronic medical records. We have 30 years of really useful data, but also innovations that have been developed by our clinicians. I'm not willing to give up on that. DOD did not build back into their legacy systems the way that we're going to need to," Shulkin said.

The Defense Department entered into a $4.3 billion contract with a vendor group led by Leidos that included Cerner and Accenture to license the electronic health record software and do implementation and training across military facilities worldwide. The VA has a larger patient base and more complex needs, Shulkin noted. While he didn't comment on the price tag of a VA commercial system, it is expected to exceed the DOD contract.

Shulkin said that VA has been working with Pentagon contracting officials to benefit from the two-year DOD Healthcare Management System Modernization procurement that resulted in the adoption of the Cerner record. That experience, the VA chief said "has essentially, I think, carved years off our process" for change management and procurement.

VA has set up a program office for the procurement that includes Christopher Miller, who managed the DHMSM acquisition at the Pentagon.

Leidos is watching VA's planned shift to the Cerner health record closely.

"This is frankly faster than we would have expected VA to move," Leidos CEO Roger Krone said at a June 14 investor conference in Boston hosted by Citi. While there are no formal solicitations or drafts out yet, Krone said he sees a role for Leidos to help VA with the integration.

"We have had some very top-level conversations with folks at VA about the value we have provided and Leidos' ability to reduce the risk of implementation," Krone said. "I'm not sure how that will manifest itself in contracts -- whether we'll be a sub to Cerner or there will be a separate integration contract or we provide advisory services, but we're starting from a position where we had very little presence in [electronic health records] at VA, to where they've made a strategic decision to harmonize with DOD where we have the prime contract, and they picked our set of vendors," he said.

More COTS for VA

Vista permeates the VA enterprise  --  not just in health records but in scheduling, procurement, facilities management and other functions. Shulkin said that he was pushing ahead with plans to go commercial across the VA enterprise. He cited a recent procurement for an off-the-shelf scheduling system and a financial system upgrade.

"You'll see more and more of these types of announcements as we start replacing these systems," Shulkin said.

At the same time, he said that Vista was going to have a long sunset.

"We will be living off of our Vista system for years in the future because you can't essentially make the transition in all these systems all at once," Shulkin said. "It has to be done in a way that we're not dropping any data or dropping any services. This is going to be a slow transition, but what we've done is set the path toward future modernization of all of our IT systems," he said.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.