DOD Decides To Keep Legacy EHR Until At Least 2018

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | January 3, 2014

The Department of Defense is officially sticking with its tried-and-true AHLTA electronic health records system for at least the next four or five years according to a recently released procurement document.  Despite auditioning commercial offerings in October of 2013 in an attempt to comply with increasingly strident Congressional demands for interoperability with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the DOD will be hiring a “sustainment contractor” alongside a separate integration expert to maintain its massive, worldwide EHR system for the next few years.

By the end of January, the two departments must present a plan to Congress detailing how they will achieve full EHR interoperability by 2016.  Earlier in 2013, DOD and the VA picked Systems Made Simple (SMS) to head the integration effort, and just a week later, the DOD released a request for information outlining its desire to keep ALHTA in operation.  The more recent procurement document makes it clear that no commercial product demoed by the Department will be implemented before 2019, by which time the rest of the healthcare industry will be well into Stage 3 or possibly even Stage 4 of Meaningful Use.