PwC-led team to offer 'open source' EHR to DoD

PwC has joined forces with Medsphere, DSS, Inc. and General Dynamics Information Technology to vie for the coveted U.S. Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) electronic health record contract, and plans to merge "open source" software with commercial applications in its proposal, PwC has announced.

Perhaps in acknowledgement of the increased pressure on DoD to ensure that its new system has the capability to share data with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the PwC partnership intends to propose "open architecture,"  which "promotes greater ease of integration with existing DoD legacy systems, as well as unlimited access to ongoing EHR innovations," according to PwC's Sept. 5 announcement.

"Providing high quality healthcare to U.S. military families and veterans relies on secure access to patient records from any location or device," Scott McIntyre, U.S. Public Sector leader with PwC, said in a statement. "An interoperable healthcare IT management system that leverages existing investments not only creates efficiency and significant cost savings, it promotes better health outcomes for active duty military, veterans, and their families."

Several of the other known teams bidding on the contract include CSC/Allscripts/Hewlett Packard, Epic/IBM/Impact Advisors and Cerner/Leidos/Accenture. DoD is accepting bids through Oct. 9; the contract, predicted to be worth about $11 billion, will be awarded in the third quarter of 2015.

The VA awarded a $162 million contract to upgrade its EHR system in July.

It is not yet known how other contenders for the DoD contract will address the issue of interoperability. Congress and other stakeholders have expressed concern about the inability of the DoD EHR system to share data with the VA's EHR. The two agencies abandoned their initiative to create a joint EHR system in 2013. The Government Accountability Office criticized DoD and the VA this past summer for failing to adequately address interoperability, as required by statute. DoD has had difficulty this year rolling out a even more modest data sharing initiative to speed up VA disability claims.

To learn more:
- here's the PwC announcement