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VA Kicks Off Contracting for New Electronic Health Records System

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The Veterans Affairs Department has released the first procurement for its next-generation electronic health record system, with a focus on support services for the Health Systems Informatics division of the Veterans Health Administration.

The “sources sought” notice for the new version of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture EHR, dubbed VistA Evolution, makes it clear that the Health Systems Informatics division will drive development in cooperation with the VA Office of Information and Technology.

VHA plans to contract for VistA Evolution “workgroup coordinators” to help manage, among other things, development of new interfaces to replace the aging VistA Web and other EHR viewers. These coordinators will also work with the moribund Defense Department/VA Interagency Program Office, which is “is programmatically responsible for managing and delivering the seamless sharing of interoperable health data between the departments.”

The planned coordination contract, which has one base year and two option years, calls for “standing up numerous EHR functional capabilities related to the VistA Evolution Program,” including updates to the decades-old VistA software and development of new EHR software products.

The contract also requires support of VA project teams which will work with Defense and the IPO to ensure interoperability of health records between the two departments. Congress provided the VA with $251.9 million for VistA Evolution in the 2014 omnibus budget signed by President Obama Jan. 17, but limits spending to 25 percent of Funds allocated until 25 percent of the VistA Evolution budget until the VA describes to Congress how it will adhere to data standards defined by IPO, which has lacked a full time director since last fall.

VHA wants a fast response from industry, with replies due Feb. 6, eight business days after it was  posted.

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