A Pentagon report has found problems with the initial stage of a military-Veterans Affairs Department digital health project backed by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner that are serious enough to potentially put patients’ lives at risk, Politico reported Friday.
The evaluation found that a military software system called MHS Genesis is “neither operationally effective, nor operationally suitable” and advised hitting pause on a roll-out until issues can be resolved, the news site said.
The Military Health System’s official website describes MHS Genesis, which was greenlit under the administration of former President Barack Obama in 2015, as a “new electronic health record.”
According to Politico, experts who saw the Pentagon’s assessment of the system described it as “devastating.” Politico further reported that the results could create additional delays for a related Veterans Affairs contract with Cerner Corp., the company that started installing the military’s system last year.
Pentagon officials defended the initiative to reporters on Friday, saying that improvements have been made since the review concluded, according to Politico.
Officials from Cerner said on a Friday call that issues with implementation were being fixed, Politico reported.
The White House did not immediately give a response to CNN’s request for comment.
Politico reported that a White House spokesman said Friday that Kushner, who is married to President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka, was not involved in the Department of Defense’s contract with Cerner. He did advise officials at Veterans Affairs in 2017 to contract with the company “because the military was already using the vendor, and he argued the creation of a seamless, unified system would allow records to be shared between military and VA treatment centers.”
The spokesman told Politico that Kushner “still believes that the decision to move the VA to Cerner was the right one,” and that he has been in support of “moving slowly, methodically and properly” with respect to the contract with the VA.