The VA Cerner Situation – Oracles First Test

By | July 29, 2022
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VA Cerner Problems

From Business Insider

  • Oracle in June purchased Cerner, a medical-records giant, for about $28 billion.
  • The US Department of Veterans Affairs tapped Cerner in 2018 to overhaul its information systems.
  • Long-standing issues with the technology and the cost of the project just became Oracle’s problem.


Before 2018, the VA was identifying some of the same problems Ellison said he wanted to fix. The Department of Defense provides medical care to troops until they become veterans, at which point the VA takes over. One goal of the VA’s upgrade was to give providers at both organizations a way to see those patients’ records digitally.

But VA officials have said this goal, among others, has suffered as the Cerner rollout has dragged on. The Office of Inspector General overseeing the VA has issued more than 10 reports about several issues and more than 60 recommended fixes, a handful of which are two years old and still haven’t been implemented, frustrating lawmakers.

Crashes and slowdowns of Cerner’s technology have caused VA staffers to switch to pen and paper. Providers have struggled to learn the new system, leading the VA to implement more training. And a quirk of the Cerner record has sent physicians’ medical orders in Spokane, Washington, to an unmanned inbox, leading to delays in care.

One of the reports described a case in which a psychiatrist’s order to schedule a follow-up appointment for a patient without a home was lost in the queue. The report said the patient, who was at risk of suicide, called a crisis line four weeks later about a plan to self-harm, then was hospitalized.

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