Defense Launches New Health Record Procurement

Sergio Stakhnyk/

Officials plan to deploy the EHR, which ultimately will serve 9.6 million beneficiaries and 70,000 clinicians, starting in late 2016.

This story has been updated with additional details.

The Pentagon kicked off procurement for its next generation electronic health record system to serve 9.6 million beneficiaries and 70,000 clinicians, releasing a draft request for proposals that envisions initial fielding by 2016.

The Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization, or DHMSM, project tapped the Space and Naval Warfare System Command to run the EHR procurement to replace the existing Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application, or AHLTA, outpatient EHR; Essentris, an inpatient EHR provided by CliniComp Intl. of San Diego; the Composite Health Care System, the underling software in AHLTA developed by SAIC; and a system that serves combat hospitals and ships.

Navy Capt. John H. Windom, a DHMSM program manager, said the project is designed to modernize the Defense EHR while working to make it interoperable with the Veterans Affairs Department and private provider electronic medical records. The Pentagon and VA abandoned efforts to develop a joint health record in February 2013, after costs had spiraled to $28 billion.

Windom said the new system will leverage off-the-shelf technologies and industry standards as supported by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology.  He said the draft is intended to involve private industry early in the government’s requirements process.

Defense plans to deploy the new EHR in two segments, one for hospitals and clinics and the other for ships, field hospitals and medevac aircraft.

Segment I facilities include 57 hospitals, 225 vet clinics, 364 medical clinics and 282 dental clinics. Segment II facilities include 321 ships and a yet to be determined number of field hospitals and aircraft.

Defense plans to deploy the EHR to hospitals and clinics by geographic region, starting with one test site at Ft. Lewis, Wash., in late 2016, followed by other hospitals and clinics in the western U.S. in 2017. Hospitals and clinics in the north and south would receive the new EHR in 2018, followed by facilities in Europe and the Pacific in 2019. Deployment of the EHR to ships and field hospitals would start in 2017 and finish in 2019.

VA released an initial procurement for its next generation EHR on Tuesday.

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(Image via Sergio Stakhnyk/