VA watchdog highlights missing patient care metrics at Mann-Grandstaff health center

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The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General has warned that the agency is failing to publish key care quality metrics relating to the rollout of Cerner’s electronic health record system at the Mann-Grandstaff health center in Spokane, Washington.

In a report issued Wednesday, the watchdog said it had identified gaps in available metrics published that would impair the hospital’s response to concerns over organization performance, quality and patient safety and access to care.

The VA is required to publish a variety of metrics measuring access and wait times online to allow patients to make the most informed possible choices about care.

The watchdog in its report identified multiple factors contributing to the missing metrics, including that Cerner had failed to deliver reports, training deficits, and that VA metrics generated using new EHR system data were unavailable.

It said: “The OIG determined that deficiencies related to the new EHR’s metrics and challenges with VHA-generated metrics using new EHR data impaired the facility’s access to and utilization of metrics.”

“The OIG is concerned that further deployment of the new EHR in VHA without addressing the gap in metrics available to the facility will affect the facility and future sites’ ability to utilize metrics effectively,” the watchdog added.

The EHR system was rolled out at a third location in Ohio at the end of April, despite multiple system outages occurring earlier that month. 

Lawmakers have called on the VA and Cerner to halt the scheduled rollout of the system to other locations until technological glitches with the system in existing locations are rectified.

The IT system rollout continues to attract widespread scrutiny on the Hill.

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Cerner, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), electronic health records (EHRs)