OIG: DoD should reevaluate timeline for EHR system

The Defense Department's schedule for implementing its new electronic medical records system might be too aggressive, the DoD Office of the Inspector General says in an audit summary.

The OIG is urging the Defense Healthcare Management Systems' program executive officer, Stacy Cummings, to reanalyze whether the deadline for the $9 million DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM) program is achievable.

During the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's annual meeting on Tuesday, Cummings said her department is aiming to have the system begin deployment in December, with the initial launch in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, she said the DoD is working on creating interfaces to legacy systems, running tests prior to deployment as well as ensuring the system is suiting the needs of the agency. 

Officials so far have identified risks, the likelihood they will occur and potential impacts in terms of cost, schedule and performance. However, the OIG cites the "risks and potential delays involved in developing and testing the interfaces needed to interact with legacy systems, ensuring the system is secure against cyberattacks and ensuring the fielded system works correctly and that users are properly trained."

After months of speculation last year, DoD selected a team led by Leidos, Cerner and Accenture to build the new system.

The system also faces a Dec. 31 deadline imposed by The National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 that requires DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs to work toward seamless data-sharing of medical information. DoD said last November it had met those requirements.

To learn more:
- here's the audit summary