Computer Sciences Corp., partnered with HP and EHR developer Allscripts;
Leidos and Accenture Federal;
PricewaterhouseCoopers with General Dynamics Information Technology, DSS Inc. and Medsphere; and
IBM and Epic Systems.
DOD is expected to award one of those teams – consisting of commercial vendors coupled with EHR developers – with the contract in June 2015.
While it’s too early to know whether there’s a frontrunner, IBM and Epic have arguably been the most proactive team. They were the first to announce their partnership in June 2014. Around the same time, IBM began hiring high-profile personnel to lead its health care efforts, including Dr. Keith Salzman, who spent 20 years with DOD’s military health system.
IBM’s Watson technology – first made famous in 2011 after besting human competitors on the television game show "Jeopardy" – is now turning its computing power toward improving veterans’ health care.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today a two-year pilot program with the company worth $6.8 million, signaling the agency's intent to assess innovative and emerging technologies that could benefit the 8.3 million veterans requiring care each year.
IBM’s Watson technology “will ingest hundreds of thousands of Veterans Health Administration documents, medical records and research papers” and distill information and knowledge to clinicians in near real-time, according to IBM.
During the pilot, Watson will base clinical decisions on realistic simulations of patient encounters – not on actual patient encounters – providing a test-bed for how computers might handle patient care decisions.
“Physicians can save valuable time finding the right information needed to care for their patients with this sophisticated and advanced technology,” said Carolyn M. Clancy, VA’s interim undersecretary for health, in a statement. “A tool that can help a clinician quickly collect, combine and present information will allow them to spend more time listening and interacting with the veteran.”
Leveraging technology to combat Ebola in West Africa was always going to be an uphill fight.
“You have very little cellphone coverage,” said Steven VanRoekel, chief innovation officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development. “You have unreliable power everywhere. Devices you would want to put out to the field probably can’t connect to the Internet.”
Health care workers trying to communicate with each can wait for as long as 24 hours for a single text message to inch across 2G cell networks, he said.
“We hear stories about people climbing to the top of an anthill or a tree and holding their phone up so they can get data downloaded on it, and then they go down and they can send an email,” he said.
So, suffice it to say, VanRoekel, the administration’s point-man in using technology in response to the outbreak, is clear-eyed about the challenges he faces in his job.
“The key here is that technology is not the solution to Ebola,” VanRoekel, said Thursday at a Washington, D.C., event hosted by FedScoop.
Instead, the former federal chief information officer is asking, “What can technology do … to help us make better, faster decisions...
Four commercial vendors will submit proposals Friday for the Defense Department’s $11 billion electronic health record system contract. But the Department of Veterans Affairs has backed off an idea floated by former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to enter a new version of its own longstanding EHR system into the competition.
Teams bidding on the Pentagon’s EHR system – formally known as the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization – are:
Computer Sciences Corp., partnered with HP and EHR developer Allscripts
IBM, aligned with Epic Systems
Leidos, joined up with Accenture Federal
PricewaterhouseCoopers, with General Dynamics Information Technology, DSS Inc. and MedSphere as partners
Shinseki told lawmakers at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing in March that VA had started development of a new version of its decades-old and proven Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture – or VistA – that would be equivalent to commercial software.
“We want to be in competition for [the] DOD [EHR],” Shinseki said.
But Genevieve Billia, a VA spokeswoman, told Nextgov today: “VA never planned to formally bid in DOD's acquisition. VA supports DOD's need to replace its system and understands DOD is pursuing an open competition.”
She added: “Our prior statements referenced VA's...
The Defense Department has failed to adequately develop blood information systems over the past 13 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq despite spending a total of $289 million, the Pentagon inspector general reported last week.
The latest review, which is a follow-up to an October 2001 IG report, said the Armed Services Blood Program Defense Blood Standard System – or DBSS – has miscounted the inventory of blood products, including those used in combat, and that the Pentagon has failed to develop a single, integrated portfolio for the blood information technology system.
The officials in charge of the effort “could not demonstrate after 13 years that officials implemented the necessary actions to mitigate the identified system problems as agreed,” in 2001,” Amy Frontz, principal assistant inspector general for auditing, wrote in the Oct. 23 cover letter to Jonathan Woodson, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, accompanying the report.
In 2001, the IG first recommended DBSS be replaced with a new system – the Enterprise Blood Management System, or EBMS -- which would help eliminate inventory problems as well as the requirement that data be manually entered into the system.
The IG, in its current report, said the donor portion of EBMS...