VA signs contract with Cerner for electronic health record system


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it signed a contract with Cerner that will modernize the VA’s health care IT system and help provide seamless care to veterans as they transition from military service to veteran status, and when they choose to use community care.
This is one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government, with a ceiling of $10 billion over 10 years. And with a contract of that size, you can understand why it took some extra time to do the due diligence and make sure the contract does what the president wanted.
President Donald Trump has made very clear that he wants this contract to do right by both veterans and taxpayers.
With this contract, the VA will adopt the same electronic health record (EHR) platform as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
Patient data will be seamlessly shared between VA, DoD and community providers through a secure system.
Health information will be much easier to share, and health care will be much easier to coordinate and deliver, as well as faster and safer.
Care by all providers will be transparent to the entire care team.
The VA will add capabilities to the system as necessary to meet the special needs of veterans, VA clinicians and our community care partners.
When fully deployed, the new system will represent a monumental advance in veterans’ health care — bigger than VA’s initial deployment of EHRs 40 years ago.
The VA and DoD are collaborating closely to ensure lessons learned at DoD sites will be implemented in future deployments at the DoD as well as the VA. We appreciate the DoD’s willingness to share its experiences implementing its EHR.
We already have $782 million in funding for FY 2018 to get the effort underway, thanks to support from Congress.
In sum, signing this contract is an enormous win for our nation’s veterans. It puts in place a modern IT system that will support the best possible health care for decades to come. That’s exactly what our nation’s heroes deserve.
Services available for local veterans
Pine Ridge Extended Care Center is VA-certified, which means there are services available for our local veterans. These services have eligibility requirements and specific programs. For more information, please contact this office or Pine Ridge.
For more information
The office of the Archuleta County veterans service officer (VSO) provides assistance to qualified military veterans, and their families, or a veteran’s survivors, in applying to and in obtaining VA program assistance, benefits and claims.
This assistance is provided within the guidelines, policies and procedures established by the Colorado Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. This is a mandated program of the state of Colorado.
For further information on VA benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office, located at the Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.
The best way to contact me is to set up an appointment, for either at your home or in the office, so I can schedule a specific time in order to answer and assist each veteran in Archuleta County.
The office number is 264-4013, fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590 and email is The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Bring a DD Form 214 (discharge) for applications to VA programs or benefits for which the veteran may be entitled to enroll, and for filing in the Archuleta County VSO office.
Always leave me a message and phone number to contact you.
Veterans’ groups
The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:
• American Legion Post 108: second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.
• American Legion Post 108 Ladies Auxiliary: second Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.
• Veterans for Veterans: Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church.
• Combat Veterans PTSD Group: Every other Tuesday at noon, Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Contact Kevin Kelly at (505) 699-0824.
• Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans: First and third Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., Dr. Sharon Carter’s office. Contact Charlotte at 903-9690.
Important numbers
• 799-VETS,
• Durango VA Outpatient Clinic: 247-2214.
• Farmington VA Center: (505) 326-4383.
• VAMC Albuquerque, N.M.: (800) 465-8262.
• VAMC Albuquerque, N.M., emergency notification: (800) 465-8262, ext. 5739.
• The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans in crisis, as well as their family and friends 24/7/365. Call (800) 273-8255, chat online or text 838255.