DoD seeks ideas to modernize its e-health record

Monday - 8/23/2010, 2:42pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Defense Department is looking to modernize its electronic health record system.

The Tricare Management Activity issued a request for information Aug. 12 asking vendors to provide ideas for a comprehensive military health system capability for warfighters, beneficiaries and providers.

The RFI is part of Tricare's broader effort to improve its electronic health record. Tricare established an office in February to look at the future of the EHR, said Mary Ann Rockey, acting chief information officer for the Military Health System.

"These efforts are to be executed in accordance with three key DoD processes for requirements, acquisition and budgeting which work in concert to deliver the capabilities required by the warfighter," she said in an e-mailed statement. "These processes are the joint capabilities integration and development system, the planning, programming, budgeting and execution process and Defense Acquisition System."

Rockey said DoD's current system, AHLTA, has been deployed worldwide 2006, but DoD needs to ensure its current system can interoperate easily with the Veterans Affairs Department's Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER), and the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN).

She added that DoD also wants to improve several other electronic health record functions:

  • Modernize the EHR family of applications
  • Enhance usability
  • Improve clinical decision support
  • Empower patients through access to personal health record solutions;
  • Increase system performance and data availability through network modernization.

The RFI, in many ways, is the first step to making those needs into reality.

Tricare wants to know which vendors can provide "an interoperable set of EHR capabilities automating health care in a continuum of care settings including: inpatient acute care, ambulatory care, intensive care, emergency department, expeditionary and ambulatory surgery."

Additionally, the capabilities must include ancillary services such as laboratory, pharmacy and radiology.

The capabilities must have infrastructure and support to include identity management, credentialing and privileging, secure messaging between patient and medical staff and a host of other requirements.

Tricare extended the response date for the RFI to Aug. 27.

(Copyright 2010 by FederalNewsRadio.com. All Rights Reserved.)