Defense Department's EHR Plan May Cost Taxpayers Billions

Joseph Conn | | October 4, 2013

The Defense Department's on-again, off-again flirtation with the Veterans Affairs Department's VistA electronic health-record system appears to be on again. But this time, a lot of other suitors will compete for the military's affection and what likely will be billions of taxpayers' dollars.

The Defense Department plans to host “demonstrations” of possible replacements of the vast Military Health System's multiple EHR systems during the week of Oct. 21 “to assess the current state and capabilities of electronic health-record (EHR) products,” according to an announcement posted on the website. The Department of Defense is contemplating replacing its legacy EHR systems with an "off-the-shelf" enterprise Electronic Health Record System, according to the federal solicitation.

Developers must apply first and wait to see if they receive an invitation to the run off. The Defense Department application asks vendors whether their products have “achieved meaningful-use Stage 1 criteria through an Office of National Coordinator defined certification process” and whether at least one hospital has used their EHR to meet the Stage 7 criteria on the Health Information and Management Systems Society's EHR adoption model, among other invitation criteria.