IBM and Epic Form Advisory Group as Part of Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization Bid

Press Release | IBM, Epic Systems | January 8, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.– 07 Jan. 2015: IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced that its bid for the Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) contract includes the formation of a Military Health System (MHS) Advisory Group made up of industry experts, including veterans, with firsthand experience in some of the biggest and most successful Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementations. The group was formed to play an innovative role in sharing best practices in successful EHR system implementations and care delivery transformations. Last June, IBM announced its plans to team with Epic and other industry partners in its bid.

One of the Advisory Group members, Sentara Healthcare, is based in Norfolk, Virginia, and is the largest integrated healthcare provider serving southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

"I have come to realize that the true value of an EMR is its capability after implementation," said Bert Reese, CIO at Sentara. "The EMR is the bedrock of where clinical innovation will incubate, economic vitality is sustained, and creativity is fostered. This capability, coupled with the pedigree of EMR customer base and the collaboration that will follow, will set the foundation to improve clinical quality outcomes for our population."

Epic is the system of choice for the majority of the U.S. News and World Report's Top Hospitals, Top Children's Hospitals, and Top Medical Schools. Members of the Advisory Group include 17 executives, physicians and veterans from a cross section of Epic clients, including three winners of the HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award for outstanding qualitative and financial returns. The group also includes leadership from the American Informatics Association and some of the largest civilian EHR deployments. Bruce Turkstra, the former CIO of Kaiser Permanente, led the largest private sector deployment of Epic's EHR, which now supports the care of their 9.5 million members. Other group members include executives from Partners HealthCare and Mercy, the nation's 5th largest Catholic health system.

"Over the past eight years, Mercy has transitioned from a diverse organization operating on multiple EMRs to a highly standardized operation utilizing Epic for all clinical transactions across 33 hospitals and within over 2,000 integrated physician practices across 5 states," said Jim Best, VP of Integration Management at Mercy. "With Epic as our strong partner, we have been able to transform care and establish one patient/one record across the enterprise.  Looking forward, Mercy is now utilizing the power of Epic functionality and data integration to enhance service to our communities, improve the quality of care that is delivered and reduce the cost of providing healthcare to the communities that we serve."

Retired Major William Lyles, wounded serving as an Army Green Beret, joins the Advisory Group as a Patient Champion focusing on care transitions, and providing input on a patient friendly experience for service members and their families.

"This project can transform the healthcare for the patient and families," said Major Lyles. "I know what it's like to be critically wounded in combat and be a patient of the Military Health System. We need a system that is well connected to the broader care civilian community and supports the same care provided at our nation's other top healthcare organizations."

Each member of the Advisory Group will provide input on their successful experiences with governance, interoperability, content, training, analytics, research, population health, behavioral health, online patient self-service, and more.

"The Epic community is one that shares ideas on continuous process improvement and in our implementation, we were able to utilize this knowledge to enable a successful clinical adoption of an EHR," said Kristin Myers, VP-IT Clinical Transformation and PMO at Mount Sinai Health System. "Since our implementation, Mount Sinai Health System has contributed many lessons learned and best practices to the Epic community and the Advisory Group concept is a unique opportunity to contribute these learnings with other major health systems to enable a successful transition for the DoD."

"IBM, Epic and all of our partners are committed to the Military Health System's mission to provide trusted care anytime, anywhere and deliver on the promise to those who serve and their families," said Andy Maner, Managing Partner, IBM, US Federal. "Transforming care is about so much more than standards and technology. Having an ecosystem of experts ready to provide expertise at the outset of DHMSM will prove to be invaluable and is unmatched in the marketplace."

The Advisory Group includes physicians and experts from the American Medical Informatics Association, Duke University Health System and School of Medicine, Geisinger, Gundersen Health System, Mercy Health, Mount Sinai Health System, Nemours, Partners HealthCare, Sentara Healthcare, Sutter Health, UC San Diego Health System and Yale-New Haven Hospital.

About the DHMSM Program: This spring the Department of Defense will kick off the largest health IT transformation of the decade with the selection of a new EHR for all global U.S. Military care delivery sites. The new system will touch the lives of America's service members, their families, and retirees. It will also play a vital role in our national security by helping the DoD maintain military readiness, supporting humanitarian missions, and coordinating the care of service members returning from active deployments.

The MHS operates one of the world's largest healthcare networks with more than 500 hospitals and clinics. Their patients and facilities are deployed worldwide, and many of their reporting, monitoring and security needs are unique to military operations. Medical information must be readily accessible for medics in the field and during care at mobile Combat Support Hospitals. MHS also provides care aboard ships and medical transport aircraft.

For more information about the IBM/Epic DHMSM team, please visit