DOD Collects Feedback From Industry on EHR System Proposal

April 29, 2014 in News

The Department of Defense is sorting through industry feedback on an electronic health record system proposal, Health Data Management reports. Industry comments on a request for information were due last week (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 4/25).

Background on DOD EHR

In February 2013, DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs officials announced plans to halt a joint integrated EHR, or iEHR, system and instead focus on making their current EHR systems more interoperable.

The iEHR project aimed to allow every service member to maintain a single EHR throughout his or her career and lifetime.

In January, DOD announced that it would keep its current EHR system through the end of 2018.

The Defense Health Agency said it planned to launch a new EHR in phases from 2016 to 2019. DHA said it would test the system in 2016 at a site in Fort Lewis, Wash., with plans to fully deploy it by 2019 (iHealthBeat, 3/17).

The process of procuring a new EHR system is slated to cost DHA $11 billion (Gold, FierceHealthIT, 4/28).

Details on Contract Search

According to NextGov, DOD is looking for a single contractor to lead the EHR integration, and it hopes to award the contract by the end of this year so the contractor could help streamline the interoperability of DOD’s current EHR system (Konkel, NextGov, 4/25).

In its RFI, DOD sought feedback on several technology areas for the new EHR system’s infrastructure, including:

  • Device;
  • Hosting;
  • Network; and
  • Website characteristics (Health Data Management, 4/25).

Potential Bidders

Last month, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told lawmakers that VA plans to submit an advanced version of its EHR system as part of the competitive bidding process to replace DOD’s current system (iHealthBeat, 3/17).

Meanwhile, IBM reportedly is looking to leverage its Watson supercomputer technology, according to EHR Intelligence.

Andrew Maner, IBM’s managing partner for its U.S. federal division, said, “You have to bring a lot to the table in federal health care,” adding, “Watson is not going to implement an electronic medical records solution, but it can be used to make clinicians better or more efficient.”

However, IBM has not yet confirmed that it plans to compete for the DOD contract.

Maner said IBM wants to learn more about the federal government’s needs before committing Watson or other technology to such a large and complex project (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 4/24).

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