Health IT giant Cerner has shared the list of 24 vendors that will support the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ transition from its legacy VistA EHR, in what will be the largest EHR undertaking in the country.

Accenture, Leidos and AbleVets are among the leading names of the companies that will support the project throughout the projected 10-year timeframe.

Many of the vendors are veteran-owned, which will provide insight into the massive undertaking, officials said.

“This is the beginning of a long transformational journey,” Travis Dalton, president of Cerner Government Services, said in a statement.

“We’ll continue to seek and bring the best talent available to the VA. Our nation’s Veterans deserve the highest quality care. And we’re confident we’ve brought the right players to this team to succeed in our collective mission.”

Officials said the Cerner and VA EHR modernisation teams will outline the strategy for the project during the Cerner conference from October 8 to 11. They also confirmed the EHR is scheduled to roll out in tandem with the Department of Defense’s own Cerner EHR implementation. The VA has repeatedly projected its roll out will go live in the Pacific Northwest in 2020.

Last week, VA and DoD officials said they intend to create a single point of governance for the project following a hearing in which Congress blasted the agencies for not leveraging the Interagency Program Office.

The IPO was established by Congress during the first DoD-VA attempt at a shared EHR platform but officials said it lacks authority, staff and funding for the undertaking.

During the September 26 hearing, the DoD and the VA also announced the first pilot site will be the Veterans Integrated Service Network 20 in the Pacific Northwest. The site will act as the initial operating capability pilot site to test the Cerner project.

Given the number of challenges the Cerner project has faced at the DoD, the agencies are exercising an abundance of caution and working closely with the appropriate parties to ensure the VA’s rollout goes off without a hitch.

Originally published on the US edition of Healthcare IT News.




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