Coast Guard to launch EHR system

The United States Coast Guard is getting ready to implement its new Integrated Health Information System (IHiS) and is actively seeking companies to provide services and materials to support it, according to its solicitation published March 30.

The IHiS, which will be hosted in Martinsburg, W.Va., will support healthcare operations for multiple organizations, including the Coast Guard and the State Department. The IHiS is comprised of a core electronic health record system--including ambulatory, scheduling, billing and reporting features--plus other components, such as a patient portal, a military history and readiness tab, military medical forms, and interface with TRICARE records.

"Last but not least, the USCG is working with the [Department of Veterans Affairs] and Office of the National Coordinator to join the [Nationwide Health Information Network] and share IHiS health records from the IHiS with the VA and [Department of Defense] to make [virtual lifetime electronic record] a reality for Coast Guard members," the solicitation says. "The IHiS will also provide the ability to electronically query civilian healthcare facilities for medical records when a member receives care from an institution also on the NwHIN."

The company selected will provide project management, IT services, a help desk, support, and centralized document indexing.

The Coast Guard awarded a contract to Epic in 2010 to replace its existing system with a new EHR system, and then conducted a "comprehensive analysis" of its clinical workflows and existing information systems, leading to a "system wide reengineering project" which resulted in the IHiS.

Government agencies and affiliates are ramping up their efforts to implement EHR systems. The DoD and VA are readying their preliminary rollout of their iEHR system, and entities such as the Peace Corps are following suit, as well.

Responses to the Coast Guard's Solicitation are due April 13.

To learn more:
- read the solicitation
- check out this Government Health IT article