U.S. House Panel Looks Into EHR Lapse at VA Facilities in California
The House Veterans' Affairs Committee held a hearing last week to examine the recent failure of an electronic health record system used by the Department of Veterans Affairs' Northern California Healthcare System, Modern Healthcare reports.
The Veterans Health Administration's VistA clinical information technology system and its Computerized Patient Record System experienced technical difficulties on Aug. 31 that disrupted service for more than eight hours at the 17 care facilities in the Northern California Healthcare System.
Ben Davoren, physician director of clinical informatics at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, testified that the system failure was "the most significant technological threat to patient safety VA has ever had."
The failure prevented physicians from accessing patients' medical records and caused delays in obtaining medications or scheduling follow-up appointments at the time of discharge.
Bryan Volpp, associate chief of staff of clinical informatics for the health care system, said the problem was traced to the Sacramento Regional Data Processing Center, which provides a centralized database for the 17 care facilities.
Volpp said it took almost a week for VA staff to update medication administration records in the restored EHR system. He added that the total effects of the system failure will last much longer (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 10/1).