VA Calls for Open Source Health Record Proposals

The Veterans Affairs Department released last Friday its request for proposals for an outfit it calls a Custodial Agent to manage an "open source ecosystem" for development of its next generation electronic health record.

VA said it plans to use the Custodial Agent to set up and manage a code repository that will be used to update its current Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) health as well as provide software to the entire health care community.

Presumably this open source software will also be used to help develop a joint electronic health record for both the VA and the Military Health System, but the Defense Department seems to have its own ideas, with commercial software on the top of its list.

VA has this proposal on a very fast track, with responses due Friday, May 13, three weeks after release of the RFP.

Only companies who hold General Services Administration Schedule 70 information technology contracts can bid, which implies that some truly innovative proposals from, say, non-profits way outside the Beltway won't make the cut. VA did say organization not on the GSA schedule can partner with companies who have contracts.