recommended reading

Defense and VA eye commercial system for managing medical tests


The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have decided to focus on commercial products for a system to track laboratory work such as blood tests within their integrated electronic health record.

In a request for information issued Tuesday, the Military Health System asked potential vendors to provide information on developing a lab information capability that includes commercial off-the-shelf products.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Roger Baker, the department’s chief information officer, have backed using open source software for the iEHR, which will cost $4 billion to develop and is slated for deployment in 2017. On June 5, VA issued an RFI for an iEHR pharmacy system based on commercial products.

MHS said it would prefer to host the lab system in a vendor data center and government data centers would be its second choice. A draft blueprint for the iEHR that Nextgov obtained said the future health record data infrastructure will end up as a hybrid of public and private data centers.

The pharmacy and lab systems are the first clinical applications that will be incorporated into an early version of the iEHR planned for deployment at Defense and VA hospitals in San Antonio and Norfolk, Va., in 2014.

MHS said it is interested in turnkey system from a vendor that provides all management support, operations and maintenance, system security, and network connection and application management support.

The joint laboratory system will manage lab test orders -- primarily for blood tests -- specimen collection, and processing and reporting of results. It also will incorporate an anatomic pathology system to handle information from biopsy tests and electron microscopes.

The iEHR lab system should be able to manage complex testing work flows; promptly format and deliver laboratory results to clinicians; manage storage, tracking and distribution of specimens; and support automated instrumentation, the RFI said. Lab results must flow into individual patient records. These records must include every test, potential diagnosis, type of specimen collected and time the specimen was collected.

Interested vendors should reply to the RFI by July 12.

(Image via Lightpoet/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.