- The Coast Guard recently announced it will adopt the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) MHS GENESIS EHR system by joining the federal agency’s existing $4.3 billion contract with Leidos and Cerner EHR.
This announcement follows the Coast Guard’s decision in 2016 to terminate a $14 million Epic EHR implementation contract and revert back to paper records.
Defense Healthcare Management Systems Program Executive Officer Stacy Cummings told FCW during a media call that the Coast Guard opted to join DoD’s existing 10-year contract with Leidos and Cerner rather than issue a separate solicitation from vendors.
"They will be joining our program office and contract," said Cummings.
While Coast Guard officials did not reveal a cost estimate for the project, Coast Guard Director of Acquisition Programs and PEO Rear Admiral Michael Johnston stated “the Coast Guard is about 2 percent the size of the DoD from a service member perspective,” according to FCW.
"This is the best way forward, and everybody's looking forward to it," he added.
The Coast Guard also plans to integrate its implementation into DoD’s existing deployment schedule, according to Cummings. Officials did not offer details about the exact timeline. However, Cummings estimated the rollout will not take as long as DoD’s own two-year deployment since the Coast Guard will benefit from the resources and expertise of DoD’s initial operating capability (IOC) in the Pacific Northwest.
The Coast Guard would join DoD’s deployment schedule after conducting necessary testing and readiness procedures to help cut costs, said Cummings.
"Coast Guard has already started looking at their infrastructure to make sure they're meeting the minimum needs" to support the MHS GENESIS system, Cummings added.
Johnston suggested the Coast Guard could begin testing when DoD begins deploying the next wave of MHS GENESIS instances, or after the following wave.
At a January 2018 subcommittee hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, GAO Director of Information Technology Management Issues David Powner recommended the Coast Guard implement a Cerner EHR mirroring that of DoD and VA.
Implementing the Cerner system could save the department time and money and enable interoperability between VA, DoD, and the Coast Guard, Powner suggested.
While DoD’s MHS GENESIS implementation is proceeding on schedule, VA was forced to stall negotiations to finalize its Cerner EHR contract after former VA Secretary David Shulkin was ousted from his post at the agency.