September 02, 2014 | Government Health IT Staff
Ending months of anticipation, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) released its official request for proposals to modernize its Electronic Health Records (EHR) system and enable the DoD to share health data with the private sector and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The massive and ambitious project, called DoD Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM), could cost as much as $11 billion and, Department officials hope, transform the DoD into a national healthcare technology leader.
Major technology companies and consultanices, among them IBM, HP, Computer Sciences Corp., and Epic Systems, have been gearing up and forming alliances for months to prepare to enter the RFP. The sense is that that DHMSM is more than a healthcare RFP, but a transitional step that will determine much of the future for for IT in healthcare.
So what exactly is the DoD looking for in its next EHR?
That list is really long. So here are 10 requirements that demonstrate what the department is looking for:
1. Support clinical data exchange requirements with Department of Veterans Affairs and other external healthcare providers to enable the exchange of health data.
2. Integrate and present data from multiple disciplines (e.g. Radiology, Immunization, Lab) in a single view that allows access by both clinicians and patients.
3. Leverage existing hosting and network infrastructure to the greatest extent possible (not including new hardware related specifically to the EHR System application).
4. Provide access to a longitudinal medical record for each beneficiary that is globally available across all time zones (24/7/365) and across the full range of military operations
5. Meet or exceed all requirements through configuration with minimal development and maximum utilization of existing infrastructure resources.
6. Utilize government-provided Tier 1 enterprise datacenter hosting and network services.
7. Centralize enterprise functions into common government approved hosting environments (e.g., data warehouse, user web portal, business interfaces).
8. Implement a cybersecurity strategy capable of continuous monitoring to evaluate the system compliancy, and provide interoperable, secure, and operationally effective information exchanges to enable a Net-Centric military capability in compliance with DoD Instruction.
9. Utilize and provide open and standardized application program interfaces (APIs) enabling open access to the data and data model.
10. Ensure 100 percent compliance with HIPAA and with the Privacy Act of 1974 as amended; comply with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, Feb 17, 2009; support compliance with nationally recognized health industry standards, and enable compliance with the DoD Information Technology Standards Registry.
The DoD said that, when fully operational, DHMSM will support the health care needs of DoD’s current population of 9.6 million beneficiaries and — particularly if they succeed in exchanging patient data with the VA and private sector providers — the modernization project’s impact may reach across the entire healthcare industry.
“Ultimately,” DoD executive officer Christopher Miller explained, “program success will result in continued improvement in patient safety, quality of care and readiness of forces worldwide.”