If everything goes to plan, by the end of September the Coast Guard will award a contract for a spanking new commercial electronic health record system that will replace a network based on an ancient version of the Defense Department's electronic medical system.
The Coast Guard emphasized in its requirements for the new system it wanted a commercial product, and if such a product did not meet all its needs, then the system needed to be enhanced to meet the requirements before delivery.
Such an approach saves the humongous costs that result when federal customers ask vendors to bolt stuff on after they win a contract.
The Coast Guard's strategy might be a good one for the Military Health System to follow as it seeks a commercial replacement for its AHLTA electronic health record system.
But at the glacial pace MHS operates, the Coast Guard will have deployed its new system to its 500 medical personnel while MHS is still buffing and polishing requirements.