The Defense Department will seek a commercial solution for electronic health records instead of adopting the Veterans Affairs Department’s own Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture otherwise known as VistA.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel officially announced May 22 DOD will pursue “a full and open competition for a core set of capabilities for healthcare management software modernization” following a 30-day review of the program.
“Our objective is to provide the best possible healthcare for our service members with continuous quality care,” Hagel said. “Our service members and veterans, and their families, expect and deserve a seamless system to administer the benefits they have earned. Secretary Shinseki and I will continue to work closely together to deliver on that promise.”
In the near term, DOD will continue coordinated efforts with VA to develop data federation, presentation and enhanced interoperability, Hagel said. This goal will be the first priority in this process, he added.
Hagel said while VA may have good reasons to adopt VistA for its EHR core, it was not a good fit for his department.
“A competitive process will allow DOD to consider commercial alternative that may offer reduced cost, reduced schedule and technical risk, and access to increase current capability and future growth in capability by leveraging ongoing advances in the commercial marketplace,” he said.
He continued, “Approaching this challenge in this manner will ensure that DOD acquires the right healthcare IT to meet its requirements while ensuring interoperability with VA, that this acquisition is conducted in a manner that achieves the best value for America’s taxpayers, and that DOD invests in healthcare IT that is sustainable over the long term.”
Press briefing on the EHR announcement: