The Department of Defense awarded a contract to CliniComp International last week to support the maintenance and eventual decommissioning of the company’s electronic health record software as the military transitions to a new system.
The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract could be worth up to $429 million through September 2026. But for fiscal 2020, DOD has obligated only $17 million.
CliniComp has been providing its Essentris inpatient medical record system to 59 U.S. military hospitals since 2011 as part of the legacy Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA). “Essentris allows health care providers to document clinical care, procedures, and patient assessments occurring in the inpatient setting, as well as in emergency departments,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
But now as the DOD moves to a more modern EHR, called MHS Genesis, CliniComp’s Essentris will need to eventually be phased out. Under this new contract, the company will support maintenance during the “phased transition” to MHS Genesis, and then decommission the system after it’s done.
The Pentagon awarded a $4.3 billion contract to Leidos and Accenture Federal Services in 2015 to build out an EHR built on Cerner‘s commercial off-the-shelf software. DOD plans to launch the new EHR at military treatment facilities across the country in waves through 2024. The department has already taken the EHR live at several facilities in the Pacific Northwest. It comes with the added benefit that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ new EHR will also be built on a Cerner platform, with the intent of making the two interoperable by default.
The coronavirus pandemic could throw a wrench into the DOD’s phased MHS Genesis rollout. The department announced recently it had stopped deployment of the system at new sites while it responds to the more pressing needs of the pandemic.
“We want to ensure our providers can remain focused on the pandemic and not be distracted with MHS GENESIS deployment activities,” a Defense Health Agency spokesperson told FedScoop. “In collaboration with our acquisition leadership and our functional champion, we will suspend MHS GENESIS deployment activities that distract our providers during their support of the COVID pandemic.”