Health eTime Wins VA Medical Appointment Scheduling Contest to Enhance Care for Veterans
Application developed by MedRed, BT and VISTA Expertise Network takes first place with comprehensive system that advances scheduling capacities for all involved in veterans’ care Washington DC – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has selected Health eTime as the first place winner of the VA Medical Appointment Scheduling Contest. Developed through a collaboration between MedRed LLC, BT and the VISTA Expertise Network, the Health eTime application was selected over 40 other entrants in the six-month Contest that challenged healthcare IT experts to create systems that help veterans make appointments to receive outpatient and ambulatory care from the Veterans Health Administration (VA). Health eTime is an open source, medical scheduling software package designed to integrate with, and augment the functionality of, VistA, the VA’s Electronic Health Record system. Health eTime, which features a user-friendly graphic interface, was able to significantly advance VA medical scheduling capabilities in several key areas by providing: • The ability to schedule patients across VA sites • The capacity to share appointments with non-VA systems including medical providers’ schedules and veterans’ personal calendars and smart phones • A model that moves beyond the scheduling of appointments to managing use of treatment rooms, facilities, equipment and services; as well as deployment of personnel The application also allows for iterative development and a staged roll out to VA and civilian providers across the VA network. “It is always a privilege to have the chance to work on behalf of our veterans,” said Dr. William Smith, Chairman and CEO of MedRed. “VA leadership deserves all the credit in the world for harnessing open source transparency and industry innovation on behalf of patients. The contest oriented many very talented companies to the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA) and its core IT challenges. I am sure the contest will continue to yield benefits to patient care well into the future. Our experienced team performed well and we are very honored by this acknowledgement of our efforts from the VA.” Bas Burger, president of US & Canada and Global Industry Verticals, BT Global Services said, “The competition was steep and there were many challenges in developing a medical application to specification, while also integrating it into a complex environment in a very short time. BT has extensive experience working on large health IT systems and the opportunity to bring that experience to bear in an intense and focused way was very rewarding for our team members.” Over the course of the contest, MedRed and BT worked with members of the VISTA Expertise Network on issues of VistA integration and installation. Rick Marshall, Executive Director of VISTA Expertise Network commented, “The VistA scheduling module is one of the oldest modules in VistA. Modernizing it not only helps with the immediate complex issue of scheduling but also can provide some insight into the overarching challenge of VistA modernization.” Background About MedRed MedRed, LLC (http://www.medred.com) served as team lead for the contest. MedRed is a small business that specializes in innovative, high quality, informatics software for healthcare providers and patients. MedRed proudly serves both government and commercial markets to meet the unique needs of their users. In 2010, MedRed’s TBI Toolbox application was selected as a winner of the Department of Veterans Affairs Industry Innovation Competition. MedRed's patent pending TBI Toolbox application allows patients and healthcare providers to capture and access the most accurate and up-to-date medical information and knowledge. MedRed’s clinical tools are used to help manage every day and emergency healthcare needs. MedRed accomplishes this by employing state of the art technologies to ensure patient confidentiality, providing timely and accurate medical information and state-of-the-art clinical decision support at the point of care. About BT BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. For the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,103m with reported profit before taxation of £2,315m. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. For more information, visit www.btplc.com About VISTA Expertise Network The VISTA Expertise Network (http://vistaexpertise.net/) served as VistA architectural experts for the project. The Network is a nonprofit that specializes in VistA & RPMS evolution, modernization, and development. Department of Veterans Affairs’ 21st Century Medical Scheduling Contest VA started to develop a Medical Scheduling Package replacement in 2000. This effort was not successful. When VA ended the project in 2009, none of the planned capabilities were delivered. It had cost more than $127 million. In 2012, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the prize contest under Section 105 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2011, Public Law 111-358 (2011), 15 USC 3719 (the “Act”) and the Department of Veterans Affairs 21st Century Medical Scheduling Contest was launched in December of 2012 to encourage development of systems that help Veterans schedule appointments to receive care from the Veterans Health Administration and to reduce risks in the future procurement and deployment of those systems. The goal of the contest, which ended in June 2013, was to encourage creation of systems that help Veterans make appointments to receive outpatient and ambulatory care from the Veterans Health Administration. VA also was seeking to obtain information that would allow it to reduce the risks inherent in procurement and deployment of a replacement medical scheduling product.