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Poll: Choosing Cerner for VA wasn’t a surprise, but not necessarily the best call

Source: Healthcare IT News

While some respondents said the EHR choice makes sense, others lament lack of competitive bidding, costs.

We asked our readers if they were surprised the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs chose Cerner as their EHR vendor. Out of the 727 respondents, 77.4 percent said this decision was expected. For many, it confirmed earlier speculation in favor of Cerner since the vendor was already working on modernizing the health record for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Readers had a variety of thoughts on the reasons why this was a good (or bad) move for the agency.

“Choosing proven and established EHR system over ailing homegrown EHR is a good decision.”

A few readers were “shocked this is being awarded without competition.“ While others were hopeful it “will push interoperability… as many vets get care outside of VA facilities.”

We rounded up some comments from the poll below.

As for who responded to the survey, 42.1 percent were hospitals/health systems while 34.5 percent were vendors, 7.1 percent worked for government agencies. The final 16.3 percent were a diverse number of workplaces.

What are your thoughts on the VA’s choice? –(workplace)
They did not do any research, just took the easiest route. –Hospital/Health System
Amazing, best EMR by far. They invest more in R&D than others make in revenue a year. Also, they aren’t Epic where they will nickel and dime us tax payers. Not to mention how every Epic implementation results in the C-level getting fired due to over budget, not on time, and huge end user dissatisfaction. –Hospital/Health System
An obvious effort at privatization that will ultimately harm veterans. –Retired USAF/USN
Appropriate and path of least resistance. –Hospital/Health System
Bad system and lack of record sharing ability across states and other EHRs. –Hospital/Health System
Cerner has had its issues in the past. This is a major overhaul. –Government agency
Cerner has made little effort to work with practices on ECQM captures. I hope the VA forces them to do so for them so that the other practices across the country may benefit. –Insurance company
Cerner is a good choice but I worry about proprietary issues when Cerner doesn’t want to share information with the VA. –Hospital/Health System
Cerner is difficult to work with as an OS. Didn’t like it when my company used it 6 years ago. –Home health care
Cerner was a good choice. Hopefully, they can actually implement the EMR at the VA. We’ll see. –Hospital/Health System
Cerner’s focus on interoperability over the past few years has put it far ahead of Epic, which is just now realizing the world it has controlled has changed. It’s questionable as to how real Epic’s conversion is. –Vendor
Cerner’s solutions based on the Millennium platform are solid, but describing them as ‘off the shelf’ is a stretch. –Hospital/Health System
Choosing proven and established EHR system over ailing homegrown EHR is a good decision. –IT Enabled Services
Companies like WLT, Tri-Zetto and others would have been far less costly and the gov’t would get the full attention of the Vets, needs software development company.
Continuity of medical records is key to success for the veteran. –Government agency
Corrupt, very very costly, wrong-headed. Driven by the failure to support VistA modernization for years and DoD resistance despite DoD Physician support. A multibillion sole source, shameful.
Creating healthier stories. I’m thrilled that Cerner will deliver a global EHR improving care across the cost continuum. –Vendor
Doesn’t solve the need for interoperability with civilian providers who provide care for 50% of vets and their dependents. This is a critical issue that can’t be ignored. –Hospital/Health System
Don’t be surprised if the cost double or triple and results will be lots of headaches! –Vendor
Excellent, since DOD works with VA in terms of transferring EHR data for their Vets. It is imperative they choose Cerner. –Vendor
Finally, a government agency makes the right IT decision! Epic and Cerner will never “interoperate,” never! Education: We use Nehr Perfect to train students.
Good choice but will they be able to interface with Epic? –Hospital/Health System
Good choice, Epic is too expensive and limited interoperability. –Analytics
Good move, but changing vendors won’t solve the issues once and for all. Implementation and development is key to EHR success. –Hospital/Health System
Having worked with Cerner’s EHR and others, the VA has made an excellent choice. Cerner’s truest integrated system and ability to share data with other systems outperforms the other EHRs. –Insurance company
Hopefully, this will push interoperability throughout systems, as many vets get care outside of VA facilities. –Hospital/Health System
Horrible, naive and definitely political. –Revenue cycle
I am shocked that this is being awarded without competition. –Hospital/Health System
I don’t think VA had much choice. It’s IT development was abandoned years ago by budget cuts. –Retired
I hope it achieves the stated goal of DoD and VA sharing and continues to provide the existing capabilities of VistA.
I think an off the shelf vendor is the right approach. Given that DOD also uses Cerner makes the decision by the va to go with Cerner more practical. –Vendor
I think it is a great choice. This move adds competition to the EMR marketplace and helps equip the VA with the proper tools they need to improve care and patient outcomes. –Hospital/Health System
If it works quickly, it’s worth it. –Hospital/Health System
In line with the DOD. Pretty much as expected. Keeps Epic honest with another large competitor in the market. –Hospital/Health System
Increased security issues with both agencies on the same system? Increased commitment to EHR systems costs? –Hospital/Health System
Inferior product. EPIC is better given…

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