The Veterans Affairs Department signed a 10 year/$10 billion contract with Cerner Corporation for the same commercial electronic health records system as the Pentagon. Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said this contract is “one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government”.
Under this contract, VA will abandon its own, existing Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) and implement the same EHR system that the Department of Defense is deploying. All patient data will be kept in one common Cerner Millennium System.
“With a contract of that size, you can understand why former Secretary [David] Shulkin and I took some extra time to do our due diligence and make sure the contract does what the president wanted,” Wilkie said in a statement.
According to Wilkie, this will allow the agencies to share patient data among VA, DoD, and community providers “through a secure system”. The 2 agencies have more than 20 million beneficiaries combined, including soldiers and veterans.
Wilkie said, “Health information will be much easier to share, and healthcare will be much easier to coordinate and deliver, as well as safer and faster.”
Cerner president Zane Burke said in a statement, “We’re honored to have the opportunity to improve the healthcare experience for our nations’ veterans. The VA has a long history of pioneering healthcare technology innovation, and we look forward to helping deliver high-quality outcomes across the continuum of care.”