​VA leaders start to provide (some) clarity around EHR timeline and opportunities

VA expects to add an integrator to health record mix, By Adam Mazmanian, Jun 20, 2017, FCW.com

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“VA 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…” More Here

G2X TAKE: Whether it was at yesterday’s Shulkin press briefing or at the VA Industry engagement event held Tuesday morning, questions about the Cerner EHR procurement remain front and center as vendors seek insight into any related opportunities and timeline. VA continues to be quite measured in how they address questions around this high-profile procurement. The FCW article above touches on a Shulkin press briefing where he confirmed plans for a separate set of procurement(s) to find an integration partner, saying that, after finalizing the Cerner buy, VA would “begin the process of finding a vendor or vendors to handle some of the tasks of integrating the new system”, while giving a four-month estimated timeline to complete negotiations with Cerner.

In Eatontown, NJ, the VA held an “Industry Engagement” event yesterday where the VA’s Fred Mingo provided a brief update on the EHR modernization program. While little in the way of detail was provided at this time, the VA did have two carefully worded statements about Contracting Opportunities on their slides “We will be examining our overall contracts portfolio in the coming months to assess capability gaps in support of acquiring at implementing a commercial” EHR And “There may be contracting opportunities in areas like IV&V, communications, and program management support. However, any solicitations for such services will be released by VA contracting through the appropriate public facing portals”

Missed the industry day? All slides from both the EHRM presentation and the Industry Day are expected to be posted here under Industry Engagement Event Library 2017. There was one nice diagram worth taking a look at when posted.

We should also note that the VA announced that a new website is expected to be live this week (ehrm.va.gov), with this new site to serve as a primary communications mechanism to relay information related to VA EHR modernization efforts. 

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