Washington, D.C. -Today, the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, chaired by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) held a hearing on the first 180 days of the Electronic Health Record Modernization Program.
Below are Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.)’s remarks:
Opening Remarks As Prepared for Delivery:
Thank you, Chairman Banks.
You know how strongly I feel about the EHR Modernization and the priority it has to be, not only for VA, but also for this committee. That means a great deal of scrutiny for the VA leadership. A few years ago that scrutiny probably would have been decidedly unwelcome, and they would not have been shy about telling us so. But to Secretary Wilkie and his team’s credit, they have been engaging with the subcommittee constructively.
I have been watching the EHR Modernization plan come together over the past year and a half. During Secretary Shulkin’s tenure, there was an intensive look at interoperability, and I expressed my concern about transferring all the patient data. VA seems to have worked through those issues and understands what capabilities Cerner provides out-of-the-box and what additional work will have to take place. By no means is interoperability with the community providers easy. We have to maintain focus on getting it done.
Again and again we turn to basic questions, like how the VA system will be situated with respect to MHS Genesis and how the clinical standardization is going to proceed. That makes me uncomfortable. Ideally those questions would have been answered first. That being said, as long as they are thoroughly and transparently answered before Cerner starts installing the EHR in Seattle and Spokane, the situation should be manageable.
I hope the subcommittee will continue to explore these issues. The beginning of implementation is getting closer and closer.