According to a piece recently published in NextGov, the Department of Defense is looking to bolster its electronic health records system through the use of an $11 billion contract. It is hoped that the party who could assist the implementation might come soon, so that the first operability for the system would be three years from now.
The project would be extremely large in scope and encompass millions of different entities, which is undoubtedly why care is being taken to choose the right approach. As NextGov's Frank Konkel notes, the Department of Defense has a lot at stake as it looks for a single partner to try and help it resolve this problem by the end of the year.
It seems that it has already laid the groundwork for establishing a comprehensive records system, and that includes a notice intended to garner responses from companies within the community. Health Data Management's Greg Slabodkin recently reported on this strategy and what the DOD hopes to achieve.
"Under the planned EHR system, medical records would seamlessly move between DOD organizations and with private healthcare practitioners, providing a comprehensive real-time health record for service members and their families and beneficiaries," Slabodkin writes.
Because of the size of this plan, it's expected that the company the DOD will turn to will be a major provider, such as IBM, who is considering possible medical applications of its Watson supercomputer mainframe.
Part of the plan will be for the DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs to have records systems that can eventually interact with each other. As this blog previously reported, Congress is encouraging both of these programs.
Government agencies anticipating this huge commitment to a new records initiative may want to look for healthcare consulting firms that they can work with to try and work in sync with the major overhauls of this nature.