Boost To VA EHR In The Works

Bernie Monegain | Healthcare IT News | July 4, 2014

DoD moves forward to acquire commercial EHR

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a three-year, $162 million contract for upgrades to its VistA electronic health record. The announcement comes just as government officials assert in a news release Thursday that the multi-billion dollar acquisition to modernize the Department of Defense electronic health record is on track.  The goal, according to DoD, is to to create interoperability and healthcare information sharing among DoD, VA and private healthcare providers, and to have initial operating capability by 2016.

A report Thursday from the American Forces Press Service, notes that Christopher Miller, executive officer for the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization and Integrated Electronic Health Records Program organization, is finalizing the draft request for procurement for an EHR. There have been three draft requests for proposals, and the final RFP is set for release later this fiscal year -- in the third quarter of 2014, according to Miller.  EHR vendor Epic and IBM announced last month they would partner to compete for the DoD contract. A few days later a team led by CSC, with Allscripts and HP, announced it, too, would bid on the project.

The VA's care for veterans and its EHR system VistA have been in the spotlight since a May report from the VA's independent Inspector General exposed a scandal that involved cover-ups of treatment delays that resulted in deaths.  VistA, once credited for supporting the VA in providing top care for veterans, has more recently been criticized for lacking in interoperability.  Even as officials work to replace the DoD system, ASM Research, an Accenture Federal Services Company, announced Thursday it was awarded a contract to shore up the VA's existing VistA EHR...