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Old 10-27-2018, 03:31 PM
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Cool Washington Veterans Are Unconvinced A New $10 Billion Computer System Will Actually I

Washington Veterans Are Unconvinced A New $10 Billion Computer System Will Actually Improve VA Service
By: THOMAS CLOUSE, THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, SPOKANE, WASH. on October 27, 2018
RE: https://taskandpurpose.com/va-computer-system-problems/

Spokane, Washington, will lead the $10 billion effort to revamp the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical records system, but questions remain about what veterans can expect and the computer program selected to make those changes.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, who made the announcement Oct. 17 at Fairchild Air Force Base, said Spokane was selected because it has a perfect mix of both rural and urban veterans, the area has a good technology base and it’s home to Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center.

“So what we are doing here in Washington, we are testing out the medical health records, which is the largest program the VA has ever undertaken,” Wilkie said at the Fairchild event organized by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “That will be the template for the entire country.”

But the system designed by Kansas City, Missouri-based Cerner Corp. has gone anything but smoothly under a similar contract for the U.S. Department of Defense. The same computer system, called Medical Healthcare System GENESIS, is being installed under a separate contract at four military bases in Washington state, including Fairchild.

According to an April 30 DOD report, military personnel trying to install the health care system had a litany of problems that caused them to shut the testing down.

“MHS Genesis is not operationally effective because it does not demonstrate enough workable functionality to manage and document patient care,” the report states. Users were only able to perform “56 percent of the 197 tasks used as measures of performance.

When defense officials asked users how effective the new computer system was for its “System Usability Scale,” it scored 37 out of a 100. The report noted that a score of 70 would indicate “acceptable usability.”

The problems caused “an increase in the time required for healthcare providers to complete daily tasks,” the report states. “Some providers reported that they needed to work overtime and were seeing fewer patients per day due to delays caused by defects in MHS GENESIS.”

Sen. Patty Murray grilled Wilkie about those reported problems at a hearing on Sept. 27.

“I heard about misdirected referrals, long waits, staffs that couldn’t open the programs in a timely manner,” Murray said. “That was really not done well and lives were really put at risk. So I just want to make sure that the problems at DOD are not repeated as you move forward.”

Despite those concerns raised in the April report, Wilkie signed a $10 billion no-bid contract in May to award the massive overhaul of the VA computer system to Cerner.
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