Oracle Cerner Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems at hospitals run by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard experienced problems with connectivity and response time last week. The problems affected all locations that are currently using Oracle Cerner EHR systems. The system has been the focus of criticism on several fronts: a VA OIG report last year said that nearly 150 veterans were harmed during the Oracle Cerner rollout at a center in Washington state; and Fedscoop published data last August that showed the system being partially or completely unusable nearly 500 times between September 2020 and June 2022.
- This is a case of unintended consequences. DoD made changes to their network, which the VA uses, impacting connectivity to the Cerner EHR system. While you cannot entirely prevent your service provider from making impactful changes, you can make sure that you’re on distribution for service changes and outage notifications as well as having verified contact and escalation processes for when that need, eventually, arises.