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US Coast Guard Searching for Commercial EHR to Replace Epic

The US Coast Guard posted a Request for Information for a new commercial EHR after last year's botched deal with Epic.

Commercial EHR

Source: Thinkstock

- The US Coast Guard recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding which potential commercial EHR would best suit the needs of the federal agency.

While the Coast Guard is interested in gathering information, the federal agency clarified at this time it is not soliciting any particular vendor or committing to any particular acquisition approach.

Submitted information regarding EHRs and their specific features could be used to develop an acquisition strategy and a later Request for Proposal.

The Coast Guard’s market research seeks an integrated EHR acquisition (eRHa) solution to replace its current paper health records.

The solution must protect personally identifiable information and personal health information.

Overall, the Coast Guard seeks a solution that streamlines daily processes to improve patient care delivery and services. The federal agency also prioritizes interoperability with external federal agencies, including the DoD Military Health System and VA’s health systems.

EHR vendors looking to service the Coast Guard will be responsible for implementing the system for all 178 of its sites.

“At Full Operational Capability, the eHRa solution will be fully functioning, integrated with USCG business processes, and all users will have been successfully trained and transitioned to the new electronic health record solution at 114 ashore sites (clinics and sick bays) and 62 afloat sick bays,” stated officials in the RFI.  

Vendors offering information on EHR systems and solutions must include publicly available price lists with their submission.

According to the Coast Guard, potential eHRa solutions must meet the following key parameters:

 1.) Support military health care delivery across the full range of military operations: support the provision of quality, efficient, effective health care to individual patients and to populations; be flexible and configurable to accommodate changing standards of practice in multiple health care settings; be employable in all DoD health care environments; and maintain a rapid time to clinical adoption.

2.) Be deployed and managed on USCG computing and communications networks, and comply with all applicable DoD, federal government, and health care industry standards.

3.) Effectively exchange information with the VA and DoD: have a standards compliant common clinical data model to achieve interoperability among the applications that comprise the DoD Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and with EHRs employed by the VA.

4.) Meet Connectivity, Latency and Reliability requirements in the “Tactical Fixed Center” and “Tactical Mobile Center” environments described in the DISA Operational Environments Model (see Attachment F); must also be fully accessible from the most current USCG Standard Workstation Image (Microsoft Windows 10-based). 

Vendors interested in volunteering information are asked to provide a cover letter no more than five pages long describing their solution, a list of other government agencies also using the solution, and a list of current or completed contracts performed mirroring the four parameters outlined in the RFI.

The Coast Guard also requests vendors schedule milestones dictating when certain work will be completed over the course of the next two years, along with further information outlining the process by which vendors intend to implement their technology and solutions.

This RFI follows the Coast Guard’s decision last year to terminate a $14 million contract with Epic Systems due to inconsistencies. The federal organization reverted back to paper records following the failed implementation attempt.

After the unsuccessful five-year effort to implement a commercial EHR system, the federal agency is interested in a more cautious, well-informed approach allowing officials to weigh all options before soliciting or committing to a solution. 

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