DoD begins accepting bids for records modernization contract

The U.S. Department of Defense as of Monday is accepting bids for the coveted contract to replace and modernize its electronic health records system.

The Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) contract is expected to be worth $11 billion over the next decade. Some unique partnerships have been forged between systems integrators and electronic health records providers in pursuit of it, including Epic and IBM; Cerner, Leidos and Accenture; and CSC, Allscripts and HP.

The single contract is designed to replace all the military's legacy clinical systems, which cover 9.8 million people at an array of healthcare facilities worldwide, according to an article at Nextgov.

"We are not just buying an off-the-shelf system; we're really looking to modernize how the department delivers health care," Christopher Miller, program executive officer for DHMSM, tells Nextgov.

The department, however, will be proceeding carefully after the very public fiasco with the launch last year.

The Pentagon will accept bids through Oct. 9, with the EHR contract expected to be awarded in the third quarter of 2015.

Lawmakers are still fuming that DoD threw in the towel on building a joint EHR with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and are pressing to ensure interoperability between the new system and the VA's upgrade of VistA. In fact, the 2015 VA budget withholds 75 percent of funding for the upgrade until interoperability issues are addressed.

The Government Accountability Office, however, recently criticized the two agencies, saying reports sent to Congress on plans for interoperability of the EHR systems fully satisfied only one of six statutory conditions placed on the projects.

To learn more:
- read the Nextgov article