Spokane Journal of Business

Mann-Grandstaff to pilot VA health record system

Medical center here to be first to adopt new program

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The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, in Spokane, will be the first of more than 1,200 VA medical facilities throughout the nation to adopt a new electronic health record system.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the department selected the medical center, located on a 38-acre campus at 4815 N. Assembly in northwest Spokane, to pilot the new system after launching the Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization in late June. 

In July, Peter O’Rourke, then-acting VA Secretary, visited Spokane to meet with the electronic records system project managers, Department of Defense officials, and leadership from Spokane VAMC and Fairchild Air Force Base.

“As technology and the needs of our veterans evolve, we must also evolve our systems to support better care for our veterans,” O’Rourke says in the release.

Upgrading to the new system will enable the VA to allow for seamless changeover of medical records for service members who are transitioning from active duty to veteran status, he adds.

The medical center later hosted a three-day site visit by records project managers and Cerner Corp., the Kansas City, Mo.-based health information technology supplier contracted by the VA to replace its decades-old Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture system.

Dr. Robert J. Fischer, Spokane VAMC medical center director, says the shift from the old system to the new will pose a challenge for the center’s staff.

“But our staff are ready and excited to be selected as VA’s first facility to upgrade (to) a medical record system that will dramatically improve VA’s ability to share medical records between the DoD and community,” Fischer says in the release. “Bottom line is this will revolutionize and enhance the quality of health care delivery for our nation’s veterans.”

The press release states that Cerner and the VA’s electronic health records staff will return to Spokane in October to launch the initial phase of the system at the Mann-Grandstaff.

According to the VA website, the medical center accommodates  46 hospital beds and 38 rehabilitation-oriented nursing home beds, as well as a mobile clinic for veterans living outside the Spokane area.

Spokane VAMC also operates outreach clinics in Coeur d’Alene; Wenatchee, Wash.; and Libby, Mont.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the banking and finance industries. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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