Defense Health Agency Needs Help Consolidating Military’s Health IT Systems

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The agency leading the Pentagon’s electronic health records transition is working on a global IT support contract. 

One of the Defense Health Agency’s central missions is to integrate all of the military’s disparate medical facilities and patient care efforts into a unified infrastructure, especially when it comes to technology. As that work continues, DHA headquarters is looking for some IT support at home.

The agency released a request for information Monday seeking feedback on vendors able to provide IT support for the entire DHA enterprise.

Per Congressional mandates, all military treatment facilities are in the process of transferring operational authority to DHA, including “all IT service and support capability as well as transition to DHA of any existing and proposed operations support staff currently delivering those IT service and support capabilities,” the RFI states.

Those IT services will also have to support DHA’s biggest effort: the transition to a single electronic health records platform dubbed MHS GENESIS. That system is being developed by the Leidos Partnership for Defense Health, which includes a commercial off-the-shelf records management platform from Cerner, a dental software solution from Henry Schein One and cybersecurity support from Leidos, along with some 30 other supporting vendors.

The transition to MHS GENESIS includes providing ongoing care for 8.6 million beneficiaries and almost 150,000 staff at more than 1,200 locations while replacing legacy IT that includes frontend systems at medical facilities, as well as data centers, servers and a global network of backend infrastructure.

The agency’s Infrastructure Operations Division “is therefore tasked to provide a standardized, robust and highly available infrastructure and enterprise core services, scoped from end-user desktop to data center, through which [the DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization program office] can achieve its EHR goal while adhering to the cost containment and operational efficiency standards required by recent” legislation, the RFI states. That work will include IT operations support, data center administration, asset planning and management, cybersecurity, access and credentialing, and call center support.

More broadly, DHA wants IT support that can achieve three goals:

  • Standardized, consistent and repeatable processes for delivery of IT services across the DHA enterprise to optimize the use of shared resources.
  • Data-driven, evidence-based and measured improvement of operational processes and IT services through the adoption of industry best practices.
  • Continuous assessment of value and ongoing operational optimization that drives efficiencies through redesign, redirection and/or automation.

Based on responses to the RFI, DHA officials will choose a set number of vendors to attend in-person sessions tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15-17 in San Antonio, Texas. The agency plans to notify selectees by Oct. 7.

Responses are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 30.