As time has gone on, the Trump administration has certainly faced roadblocks in their efforts to implement their policy platform. Those roadblocks have been compounded in their force in large part by the fact that it’s not as though either the president or a number of his top advisers have broad experience with government and public service.
One of those without such experience is the president’s own son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been serving as a White House adviser. As a part of his broad, ambiguous, and not at all entirely fitting activities while in government, he has pushed for the Veterans Administration to adopt a health sciences software program in its facilities that is currently being rolled out by the military.
There’s just one big, glaring problem with Kushner’s aims. POLITICO explains in a new report that the system, which Cerner Corp. is behind, has been found to have flaws so dangerous during its military rollout that staffers have quit, fearing that continuing in their positions would mean putting patients’ lives at risk.
The system’s flaws are outlined in a report of findings garnered from observing the system in action at military hospitals late last year. That report describes an overwhelming 156 “critical” or “severe” incident reports; incidents earning that classification have the apparent potential to result in patient deaths.
Confirming just how grave the situation with the software program is, one member of the testing team itself commented:
‘Traditionally, if you have more than five [incident reports] at that high a level, the program has significant issues.’
The number of incident reports warranting serious consideration is many times higher than the cap mentioned by that software testing team member.
POLITICO summarizes some of the issues with the system by explaining that when used, “prescription requests came out wrong at the pharmacy, referrals failed to go through to specialists, and tasks as basic as requesting lab work were impossible.”
Anyone who has any knowledge of the medical world at all knows that errors in prescriptions can be the difference between life and death — and yet, at present, the VA is still aiming to incorporate the same software system anyway, in part thanks to the counsel of the totally inexperienced Jared Kushner.
Officials at the Department of Defense insisted recently while speaking to reporters that improvements to the new system had been made since the testing behind the just released report was completed, but one source for POLITICO summarized that grimly, saying:
‘You’ll continue to hear that they just made significant updates to the system, and that no one is saying to pull the plug on the program. If DoD members, including all the healthcare professionals at those sites were actually able to freely speak, you would hear most of them calling for something else.’
The VA currently doesn’t even have a “permanent” head thanks to the president pushing out the old VA Secretary and seeing his nominee to replace him, Dr. Ronny Jackson, fail.
That currently essentially captain-less ship is “tentatively” aiming to begin rolling out its own incarnation of the same failing military hospital system next year at locations out west. The agency has stated that they plan on making a final decision as to whether or not to go ahead with the Cerner system by Memorial Day.
The president has often touted support for current and former military personnel as a key part of his administration, but this software system certainly does not seem poised to serve their needs.
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