Statement by Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie
VA signs contract with Cerner for an electronic health record system
I am pleased to announce we have signed a contract with Cerner today that will modernize the VA’s health care IT system and help provide seamless care to Veterans as they transition from military service to Veteran status, and when they choose to use community care.
This is one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government, with a ceiling of $10 billion over 10 years. And with a contract of that size, you can understand why former Secretary Shulkin and I took some extra time to do our due diligence and make sure the contract does what the President wanted.
President Trump has made very clear to me that he wants this contract to do right by both Veterans and taxpayers, and I can say now without a doubt that it does.
With this contract, VA will adopt the same EHR platform as the Department of Defense (DoD):
- Patient data will be seamlessly shared between VA, DoD, and community providers through a secure system.
- Health information will be much easier to share, and health care will be much easier to coordinate and deliver, as well as faster and safer.
- Care by all providers will be transparent to the entire care team.
- VA will add capabilities to the system as necessary to meet the special needs of Veterans, VA clinicians, and our community-care partners.
When fully deployed, the new system will represent a monumental advance in Veterans’ health care — bigger than VA’s initial deployment of electronic health records 40 years ago.
- VA and DoD are collaborating closely to ensure lessons learned at DoD sites will be implemented in future deployments at DoD as well as VA. We appreciate the DoD’s willingness to share its experiences implementing its electronic health record.
- We already have $782 million in funding for FY 2018 to get the effort underway, thanks to support from Congress.
In sum, signing this contract today is an enormous win for our nation’s Veterans. It puts in place a modern IT system that will support the best possible health care for decades to come. That’s exactly what our nation’s heroes deserve.