U.S. Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs Donald M. Remy stopped by the Cincinnati VA Medical Center on Friday to meet with patients and staff to discuss ways to improve care at the facility.
Remy was nominated by President Biden and sworn in in July last year. Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs attempted to implement a new electronic health record system for patients, but the process suffered some setbacks.
In 2020, Veterans Affairs announced the launch of its modernized records system to allow clinicians and staff to access patient information in one universal software, rather than using multiple systems, as they previously did.
Almost two years later, the software has yet to be used in many VA facilities across the country, including Cincinnati.
“Once the system rolls out and provides the care that needed to be provided to our veterans, I think we’ll be in a much better place. That’s not where we are today,” said the Remy secretary.
In June of this year, the VA announced that medical centers in Michigan and Ohio that were scheduled to start using the new software would have their rollout dates pushed back from late 2022 to spring 2023. Those dates were pushed back a second time. to June 2023.
Remy cites the need to ensure quality care and the safety of veteran patients as the reason for the delays.
Cincinnati VA Medical Center director Jane Johnson accepted the decision not to use the software.
“We’re really aiming for zero injuries and I’m really pleased there’s a break, to make sure we can move forward safely,” Johnson said. “I know these decisions are hard to make to take a break. But I think it’s the right thing to do. And I’m proud that we’re doing it.”
As the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati waits for the new electronic health record system to go live, Remy says the Department of Veterans Affairs will focus on fixing issues with the software.