DoD begins procurement process for new EHR system

The U.S. Department of Defense has kicked off procurement for its new EHR system by releasing a draft request for proposals.

The new system will rely on off-the-shelf technologies and industry standards supported by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT, the agency set up to ensure compatibility with the system used by Veterans Affairs.  

Navy Capt. John H. Windom, program manager for the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) project, said the draft is intended to involve the private sector early in the process.

"This process will help us as we write requirements and [private industry] as they align their solutions," Windom told American Forces Press Service.

"We don't want to set a requirement that is technologically unachievable by industry or [that] we can't afford," he said.

The new EHR is due to debut in late 2016, with Ft. Lewis, Wash., as the first test site. From there, it's due to roll out by regions and in two segments, reports Nextgov. The first segment will cover hospitals and clinics and the second will upgrade the technology for ships, field hospitals and aircraft.

Hospitals and clinics in the western United States are scheduled to upgrade in 2017, those in the North and South in 2018, and facilities in Europe and the Pacific in 2019. The new EHR will be deployed to ships and field hospitals starting in 2017 to 2019.

The VA began its procurement process earlier this week. It's looking for a contractor to provide program management and expertise as it begins the requirements-gathering process for its upgrade, called VistA Evolution.

The U.S. House included funding restrictions on the VA's project to keep the focus on interoperability with the DoD system.  The 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act prevents the VA from spending more than 25 percent of the VistA Evolution budget until it explains to Congress how it will adhere to data standards set up for the integrated EHR.

To learn more:
- read the RFP
- here's the American Forces Press Service story
- check out the Nextgov article