The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) is an enterprise-wide information system built around an Electronic Health Record (EHR), used throughout the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system, known as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It consists of nearly 160 integrated software modules for clinical care, financial functions, and infrastructure.

Four Groups Submit Bids for Defense EHR Modernization Contract

Four groups of health IT vendors and technology companies have submitted bids to compete for the Department of Defense's $11 billion Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization contract, FierceEMR reports (Dvorak, FierceEMR, 10/31).


In February 2013, DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs officials announced plans to halt a joint integrated electronic health record, or iEHR system, and instead focus on making their current EHR systems more interoperable.

In August, DOD issued a final solicitation for bids for the DHMSM contract.

As part of the project, DOD will replace the:

  • Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application, or AHLTA;
  • Composite Health Care System; and
  • Various EHR components, including AHLTA-Theater (iHealthBeat, 8/27).

The final day to submit proposals was Oct. 31 (Request for Proposals, 10/24).

A team of DOD civilians, military personnel and subject matter and procurement experts will evaluate the proposals (iHealthBeat, 8/27).

In March, then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told lawmakers that VA planned to submit an advanced version of its EHR system as part of the competitive bidding process to replace DOD's current system (iHealthBeat, 4/29).

However, VA spokesperson Genevieve Billia last week said, "VA never planned to formally bid in DOD's acquisition" (Brewin, "Health IT Update," NextGov, 10/30).

Latest DOD EHR Contract Bids

The groups that submitted bids for the contract include:

  • A partnership between IBM and EHR vendor Epic;
  • A team that includes Computer Sciences Corp., a defense contractor and systems integrator, Hewlett Packard, a computer services firm, and EHR developer Allscripts;
  • A team that includes EHR vendor Cerner, Leidos -- a government systems integrator -- and Accenture Federal; and
  • A group that includes PricewaterhouseCoopers, General Dynamics Information Technology, DSS and MedSphere (Carr, InformationWeek, 10/31).

According to NextGov's "Health IT Update," DSS and Medsphere both offer EHRs based on VA's VistA software ("Health IT Update," NextGov, 10/30). However, the VistA software under the PwC team would be a commercial version that follows standards developed by the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance and incorporates best practices from other commercial versions.

Dan Garrett of PwC, said the commercial VistA software is "a better fit than anything else that's commercially available," as it is designed for the DOD market.

DOD officials say they plan to make a decision on the contract by July 2015 (InformationWeek, 10/31).

Source: iHealthBeat, Monday, November 3, 2014