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Vital VA computer system has gone down more than 50 times since launching, VA confirms

An electronic health record system being piloted at Spokane’s  hospital and other sites in the Inland Northwest has been partly or completely unusable at least 50 times since its launch in 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed.

The , which health care workers rely on to track patient information and coordinate care, saw a total of 42 “unplanned degradations” and eight “unplanned outages” between its launch in 2020 and April 20, 2022, VA spokesman Randal Noller said in an emailed response to questions from The Spokesman-Review. Two more outages occurred April 25 and 26, VA officials told a congressional panel at the time, for a total of 52 incidents.

The system, which launched at Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in October 2020, is being developed under a $10 billion contract awarded to Cerner Corporation in 2018, without the competitive bidding process that applies to most federal contracts of that size. The VA Office of Inspector General has estimated the planned 10-year effort, which is behind schedule, will cost as much

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