DOD Announces EHR Interoperability Progress, Requests Input

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | February 7, 2014

The Department of Defense isn’t taking its spate of Congressional spankings lying down.  After more than a year of continuous criticism over its lack of progress on EHR interoperability during its will-they-won’t-they romance with the Department of Veterans Affairs, a series of optimistic press releases show the DOD’s commitment to rehabbing its image while it seems to finally be getting the project on track.

On January 30, the DOD offered private industry the chance to comment on its EHR modernization process with a draft request for proposals “designed to involve private industry early in the government’s requirements for the Healthcare Management Systems Modernization project,” said Capt. John H. Windom. “This process will help us as we write requirements and [private industry] as they align their solutions.  There is nothing better than open and frequent communication with industry.  We don’t want to set a requirement that is technologically unachievable by industry or [that] we can’t afford.”

Windom says that whatever new system the DOD chooses will likely start its deployment by the end of 2016, even though other documents indicate that the current AHLTA system is slated to stick around at least two years longer.  The DOD viewed demonstrations of commercial offerings in October of 2013 in an attempt to procure an off-the-shelf solution as soon as possible, but the showcase didn’t seem to help officials make up their minds.