TO: Veterans Service Organization Leaders
FROM: Jason Beardsley, VSO Liaison, Office of the Secretary, Veterans Affairs
SUBJECT: Update to Timeline for new Electronic Health Record (EHR) Solution at MannGrandstaff VA Medical Center
DATE: March 5, 2020
Congress has made clear, and we have always maintained, that we will not rush to implement a new electronic health record (EHR) solution at the expense of the quality patient care we promised and are committed to delivering to our Veterans and other beneficiaries. After consulting with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie, VA and Cerner Corporation came to a joint decision to adjust the Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) go-live date for Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (VAMC) and West Consolidated Patient Account Center (WCPAC) to a July 2020, from a March 2020, time frame.
The new July timeline will offer several benefits to Veterans, clinicians and community care providers. These benefits include the spring 2020 launch of the new joint health information exchange (HIE), which will be the first time VA, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and community care providers will have a streamlined exchange of health data. This is a critical milestone that will enable DOD and VA to seamlessly use the same health record system.
The timeline will also include the initial go-live in April 2020 of the Centralized Scheduling Solution (CSS) at Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus, Ohio. CSS is the new appointment management tool intended to make medical visits more efficient for health care providers and Veterans.
With the revised go-live date, Veterans and other beneficiaries receiving care at Mann-Grandstaff VAMC will receive the following accelerated benefits: the ability to refill and renew their prescriptions through the new online patient portal, My VA Health; access to video visits directly in My VA Health; and the ability to check in for their appointments using a kiosk, submitting for Benefit Travel at the same time, if applicable. More information about how Veterans will access My VA Health will soon be announced.
Several back-end capabilities also will become available in July. These capabilities will enable a timelier process for insurance processing and reimbursement. One of those capabilities is Auto Pharmacy Remit. This capability will automatically post payments to third-party outpatient pharmacy bills, eliminating the need for manual entry and enabling Veteran third-party insurance to be paid in a timelier manner.
The last additional capability is Experian Insurance Verification and Coverage Validation + eCare Next Toolbar, which will eliminate manual entry of insurance and coverage information between VA and Experian, the VA EHR insurance verification tool.
Additional capabilities may become available for the July go-live date due to the adjusted timeline and ongoing EHRM programmatic work. We will share information about those capabilities as the July go-live date approaches.
Impacts to Other Timelines
The decision to adjust Mann-Grandstaff VAMC’s go-live date will not impact timelines for other sites, including VA Puget Sound Health Care System, which is scheduled to go live in fall 2020.
VA leadership and Cerner have carefully reviewed our implementation timeline and agree that this new time frame for go-live is the most responsible course of action. We know what we need to do — now we have the time to accomplish it.
As always, we will do our best to address any questions you have and will keep you informed as things evolve over the coming days. Thank you for all you do for our nation’s Veterans and their loved ones. Jason Beardsley VSO Liaison Office of the Secretary
Office of the Secretary