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Health And Medical

VA taps internal informatics director to take reins of rocky EHR rollout

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has selected Dr. David Massaro as acting senior medical advisor because of its Office of the Functional Champion to lead the Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office. He serves because the clinical executive representing the Veterans Health Administration and can lead functional initiatives to build up and implement the brand new EHR and support VA’s medical personnel.

WHY IT MATTERS

As the rollout of the Cerner-developed EHR was initially encumbered by COVID-19 delays, the modernization efforts have since been suffering from issues stemming from the botched initial deployment at Mann-Grandstaff VA INFIRMARY in Spokane, Washington from 2020-2021 that led to lost records and patient harm.

Based on the VA, Massaro was selected for his commitment to EHR reliability. After serving because the VHA’s director for Integrated Health Practice, Massaro once was the acting chief of clinical informatics operations within any office of Health Informatics. He was assigned the role of VHA senior advisor for health informatics and director for clinical integration through the establishment of the EHRM IO.

His resume includes roles as acting chief health informatics officer for any office of Community Care and acting person in any office of Integrated Veteran Care executive leadership team.

Earlier in his career, Massaro was your physician executive at the Aleda E. Lutz VA INFIRMARY in Saginaw, Michigan and a VA field clinical executive, deputy and interim chief medical officer and chief of primary care at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Florida.

THE BIGGER TREND

An Office of Inspector General report revealed a bunch of EHR operational, governance and oversight issues stemming from the Spokane rollout that earned the VA and the now Oracle-owned technology, implementation and costs a scathing Congressional review.

Top-ranking members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee heard from VA and Oracle executives, and drafted a VA EHR oversight bill requiring more clarity, transparency and accountability of the VA system’s transformation. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law in June.

In those days, Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, a co-sponsor of this legislation, acknowledged the VA’s EHR upgrade would offer “tremendous” benefitsif done right.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Illinois, ranking person in the home Committee on Veterans Affairs, said throughout a July 27 hearing an end date for the VA EHR rollout should be set and when not met, the committee must consider ending the project.

On August 4, Oracle-Cerner received monitoring alerts and the machine was taken offline for over 4 hours to recuperate the database, but no data was reportedly corrupted or lost, a VA spokesperson told FedScoop.

ON THE RECORD

Massaro “is focused on ensuring every person in VA’s workforce utilizing the new EHR is supported in this transformation, and that each veteran and transitioning service member has usage of safe, timely and high-quality care across their entire healthcare experience,” based on the VA announcement.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.

Email: afox@himss.org


Healthcare IT News is really a HIMSS publication.

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