Veterans Affairs Will Adopt DOD Electronic Healthcare Records Platform

The Veterans Affairs Department has decided that it will forego the usual technology acquisition process and implement the same electronic health records (EHR) platform as the Defense Department, according to an announcement today from Secretary David Shulkin.

“Because of the urgency and the critical nature of this decision, I have decided that there is a public interest exception to the requirement for full and open competition in this technology acquisition,” Shulkin said in a statement. “The [determination of findings] notes that there is a public interest exception to the requirement for full and open competition, and determines that the VA may issue a solicitation directly to Cerner Corporation for the acquisition of the EHR system currently being deployed by DOD, for deployment and transition across the VA enterprise in a manner that meets VA needs, and which will enable seamless healthcare to Veterans and qualified beneficiaries.”

Cerner Corp. and Leidos have a $4 billion contract to develop the DOD’s MHS Genesis platform. It’s unclear what the dollar amount of the VA contract will be.

Shulkin said that veterans cannot afford to wait another two years for a procurement and he noted that the lack of competition will allow the agency to move forward quickly and “get to details on how much money will be required, what the length of the process is and how we involve other companies and thought leaders to make sure we do it right.”

He added that the VA will not be adopting an identical system to the DOD’s EHR but it will be on a “similar Cerner platform.”

The VA has approximately 9 million beneficiaries.

put off the decision on whether to modernize its existing VistA system for too long—a statement he made shortly after being confirmed. He added veterans could not afford to wait another two years for a procurement.

In the announcement, Shulkin stipulated VA “will not simply be adopting the identical EHR that DOD uses,” but will be building a similar, integrated platform.

The VA has approximately 9 million beneficiaries.


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