Defense Mulls Location-Specific Health Record Licenses


The department wants to buy discounted software on an enterprise basis.

The Pentagon may develop its next generation electronic health record system -- slated serve 9.6 million patients and 70,000 clinicians -- through a series of enterprise licenses crafted to meet the specific requirements of a variety of military hospitals and clinics, according to a notice to industry posted on the federal contract website.

The Defense Department also kick-started the procurement process for a dental EHR capable of managing 17,000 patient appointments a day.

The Defense Department Health Management Systems Modernization program managed by the Defense Health Agency announced last month that it planned to deploy the new EHR by geographic region over six years, starting with a test site at Ft. Lewis, Wash., in late 2016 and installation in 57 hospitals, 364 medical clinics, 225 vet clinics 282 dental clinics completed in 2019.

In its request for information to industry, the DHMSM program said it intends to purchase perpetual “enterprise” licenses for the proposed EHR. These “software licenses should be aligned to the specific clinical capabilities required at each location,” the document said.

The functional mix at each location is different, DHMSM said. “Some sites may have a requirement for software to support specialties such as laboratory, obstetrics or radiology, while others may not,” the document said. The RFI did not specify what types of EHR software DHMSM wants to license. The current Defense EHR has software packages that manage outpatient, inpatient and combat care as well as modules to manage pharmacy, laboratory and medical imaging systems.

The anticipated capabilities and functionality either at a particular site or enterprisewide may evolve over time and the software licensing strategy must support such an evolution, DHMSM said.

Defense wants firm fixed price software contracts and “desires the ability to obtain software license discounts based upon quantity or bulk purchases for multiple locations or regions.”

The department also wants firm-fixed prices for all software license maintenance on a per unit, per month basis, with the opportunity to leverage economies of scale and consolidate software maintenance support after full deployment of the EHR.

DHMSM wants to acquire a dental EHR which supports high volume dental exams that take from 6 to 8 minutes to complete and serves 10,000 dentists, assistants and clerks. The system should also capture and store dental imagery, ranging from simple X-rays to advanced Cone Beam Computed Tomography images, which among other things are used to help manage tooth implants.

Industry responses for both the licensing and dental RFIs are due March 7.

Get the Nextgov iPhone app to keep up with government technology news.

(Image via alexmillos/