Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

Open-Source EHR Technology Loses Out on DHMSM EHR Contract

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- The competition for the Department of Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM) is entering its next phase and open-source EHR technology is no longer in contention, according to multiple reports.

Adam Mazmanian reports that the bid submitted by PricewaterhouseCoopers using a commercial version of the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), the open source EHR developed and used by the Department of Veterans Affairs does not fit within the updated parameters of the DHMSM request for proposals (RFP).

“PwC remains committed to helping support the health and well-being of our troops and their families. We will continue to work closely with the Defense Department in any capacity that serves those goals,” Scott McIntyre, PwC US Public Sector Managing Partner, told FCW.

For those still hoping for a VistA system to win out, this recent development represents a significant loss.

“We’re making sure no matter what solution they select, interoperability will not be impacted,” VA CIO Stephen Warren told reporters on Tuesday. “And we’re going to continue working on evolving VISTA and supporting other organizations who’ve chosen this product as the way for them to do health care delivery.”

At this time, representatives from the DoD remain mum on the bidders remaining in the competition for the ten-year, multibillion-dollar contract.

“While DoD cannot comment on the details of the ongoing source selection, the competition is robust and will support DoD’s objective of acquiring a best value solution for the enterprise that meets requirements, including interoperability with the VA and private sector healthcare providers,” a DoD spokesperson told EHRIntelligence.com earlier this week. “The Government has completed the evaluation of initial proposals and on February 19, 2015 opened discussions with offerors included in the competitive range.”

Representatives from IBM and Epic Systems confirmed to Modern Healthcare that their bid is still in the running. More than likely, the other remaining bids are those led by EHR developers Allscripts and Cerner.

Last month, details about the progress of the IBM-Epic proposals emerged indicating that the two companies had initiated pilot sites at multiple healthcare sites to prove the effectiveness of their offering in a secure environment similar to that of the Military Health System (MHS).

Kathleen Cooper of The News Tribune reported that MultiCare Health Systems in Tacoma, Wash., was selected as a pilot installation site based on its experience using an Epic EHR as well as its history communicating and exchanging health information with MHS sites and private healthcare organization.

Additionally, Epic and IBM named 17 healthcare executives to an advisory group to assist in their acquisition of the highly-coveted DHMSM contact, including representatives from Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger Health System.

The awarding of the DoD contract is expected to be made this summer.

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