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GAO: VA Should Address Existing Test Findings Prior to EHR System Deployment in New Locations

1 min read
Electronic Health
Electronic Health Record System

A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made progress implementing its electronic health record (EHR) system by performing end-user training, creating system interfaces and capabilities and making system configuration decisions, among other efforts. 

GAO said in the report published Thursday there were 361 high severity test findings and 17 critical severity test findings that VA failed to close or address as of late September 2020. The congressional watchdog recommended that VA delay fielding its new EHR system in new sites until all existing critical and high severity test findings are addressed or closed.

On Oct. 24, VA fielded its EHR platform in Spokane, Washington, with zero critical severity test findings. The department also saw its high severity test findings drop from 361 in September to 55 the following month. Of the remaining 55, 44 high severity test findings had workarounds, seven were linked to future deployments and one had a workaround VA identified at the time of initial deployment.

“Nevertheless, as the department moves forward with deployment of additional capabilities at new locations, VA will likely identify new critical and high severity test findings,” GAO said. “If VA does not close or appropriately address all critical and high severity test findings prior to deploying at future locations, the system may not perform as intended.”

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