Pentagon issues RFP to modernize electronic health records

The Defense Department released a long-awaited request for proposals Monday for its multi-billion dollar effort to replace its aging health record systems and enhance interoperability with private health care providers and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The RFP comes after nearly a year of planning and more than 1,500 interactions with industry to clarify the Pentagon’s requirements for modernizing the legacy systems that currently support military personnel and their families around the world. The effort seeks a commercial off-the-shelf EHR capable of modernizing health care delivery for the military community while maintaining uninterrupted operations of the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application, Composite Health Care System and components of the Theater Medical Information Program.

“We are not just buying an off-the-shelf system, we’re really looking to modernize how the department delivers health care,” Christopher Miller, program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, said in a statement. “Ultimately, program success will result in continued improvement in patient safety, quality of care and readiness of forces worldwide.”

A contract award is planned for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015, with the initial deployments beginning in phases in 2016. Program documents characterize the effort as “a complex, geographically dispersed, global enterprise in an extremely dynamic environment.” According to the RFP, the system will need to support 9.6 million Defense Department beneficiaries and more than 153,000 military health system personnel globally.


The Pentagon has established two segments to support deployment of the EHR system. Segment 1 will deploy the EHR system to all medical and dental permanent fixed facilities worldwide, including approximately 55 inpatient hospitals and medical centers, 361 ambulatory care clinics and 249 dental clinics.

The second phase of deployment will focus on temporary operational environment platforms, including 225 ships, 75 submarines and 2 hospital ships; temporarily deployed operational medical units at six theater hospitals, 450 forward resuscitative sites, three aeromedical staging facilities and numerous aeromedical evacuation teams to support military operations abroad.

The new EHR will also need to be interoperable with the systems used by the Defense Department’s civilian health care partners, which provide more than 60 percent of the military’s health care services, according to the department. Likewise, the new EHR will need to integrate with the VA, which is currently working on its own modernization and replacement contract for components of the VA EHR.

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