IBM, Epic Announce Advisory Group for DOD EHR Contract

January 9, 2015 in News

On Wednesday, IBM and electronic health record vendor Epic unveiled a new advisory group to help them implement the Department of Defense’s EHR modernization contract if they win the bid, Modern Healthcare reports (Tahir, Modern Healthcare, 1/7).


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

In August 2014, DOD issued a final solicitation for bids for the $11 billion Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization contract, with Oct. 31, 2014, as the final date to submit proposals. A team of DOD civilians, military personnel and subject matter and procurement experts are evaluating the proposals.

As part of the project, DOD will replace the:

  • Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application, or AHLTA;
  • Composite Health Care System; and
  • Various EHR components, including AHLTA-Theater.

In addition to IBM and Epic, other groups competing for the contract include:

  • A team that includes Computer Sciences Corp., a defense contractor and systems integrator, Hewlett Packard, a computer services firm, and EHR developer Allscripts;
  • A team that includes EHR vendor Cerner, Leidos — a government systems integrator — and Accenture Federal; and
  • A group that includes PricewaterhouseCoopers, General Dynamics Information Technology, DSS and MedSphere (iHealthBeat, 11/3/14).

DOD officials plan to make a decision on the contract by June (Hall, FierceEMR, 1/8).

Advisory Group Details

The newly formed 17-member advisory group will advise IBM and Epic during the overhaul of DOD’s system if the team wins the contract (Modern Healthcare, 1/7).

The group members include representatives from:

  • The American Medical Informatics Association;
  • Duke University Health System and School of Medicine; and
  • Mercy Health.

In addition, the advisory board also includes veterans who have experience using DOD’s current system (Konkel, “Health IT Update,” NextGov, 1/7).

Group members will share their experiences on issues including:

  • Analytics;
  • Governance;
  • Interoperability; and
  • Online patient self-service (FierceEMR, 1/8).

IBM and Epic also announced that a research center has already started testing their new DOD-customized system (Gold, Politico Pro, 1/7).

Andy Maner, managing partner of U.S. federal business at IBM, said that the group is “all about increasing the odds of success” (Modern Healthcare, 1/7). Maner added, “If and when [the contract is] awarded to us, we’re ready to go on day one” (Politico Pro, 1/7).

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