DoD approach to new EHR system 'antiquated'

The new system being planned by the Department of Defense to replace its electronic health record system will be better than what came before it, but will still lag far behind what is expected, Loren Thompson, COO at the nonprofit Lexington Institute, writes at Forbes.

Several industry giants have joined up to vie for the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization project's $11 billion contract, which is expected to be announced in June.

The remaining groups in the bidding include Computer Sciences Corp., which is partnering with HP and EHR developer Allscripts; EHR vendor Cerner, joined by Leidos, Accenture Federal, and Intermountain Healthcare; and IBM and Epic.

Thompson writes that one of the biggest problems with the DoD's plan is its decision to get an "off-the-shelf" product.

"[I]t is seeking to acquire an electronic health record system that already exists in an industry noted for its antiquated approach to the movement of information," he writes.

In the end, Thompson says, the system the DoD seeks is grounded in industry standards that don't measure up to technologies available or to the needs of veterans.

"Before committing to the biggest investment in a new health record system in American history, congressional authorizers and appropriators ought to be asking the Pentagon whether it really understands what it is buying," he says.

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To learn more:
- here's the Forbes article