June 05, 2020

Chairman Takano, Subcommittee Chair Lee Statement on GAO’s Recommendations for VA’s Electronic Health Record Project

Press Contact

Miguel R. Salazar (Takano) I 202-779-1486

Jesús Espinoza (Lee) I 202-225-5813

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D- Calif.) and Subcommittee on Technology Modernization Chair Susie Lee (D-Nev.) released the following statements regarding GAO’s new report entitled, “Electronic Health Records: Ongoing Stakeholder Involvement Needed in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Modernization Effort.” This report was prepared at the request of the Committee to examine VA’s process as they configure the new Cerner Electronic Health Record (EHR) to meet staff and veteran healthcare needs. 

“GAO’s recommendation is clear—as VA works toward continuing its EHRM implementation post pandemic, it needs to be as transparent as possible and better involve local staff on the ground,” said Chairman Takano. “Some sites won’t see the new system for years, so it’s especially critical that VA heed this recommendation and work to improve local engagement and management. Subcommittee on Technology Modernization Chair Lee and I will continue to be here and ready to work as willing partners with VA throughout this transition.” 

“This report underscores what my Subcommittee has been saying all along—engagement at the local level is key to the success of the EHRM project. We must ensure that clinicians and staff understand the new electronic health records system and are invested in the process and implementation, so that all VA personnel from the local level up to VA leadership are united in expectations,” said Chair Lee. In my Subcommittee hearings, we heard time and again about an overall lack of transparency, along with a lack of communication between local facility staff on the ground and VA leadership. Those shortfalls cannot exist for this system to work and for our veterans to receive the care they deserve.”