VA contracts ASM Research to improve clinical portion of VistA

Although the Department of Veterans Affairs is in the process of seeking out a replacement to its current scheduling system, the department awarded a contract Wednesday to ASM Research to modernize the current health care system and improve interoperability.

The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, known as VistA, is a two part system — one part focuses on the clinical service at VA facilities, while another deals with the scheduling of appointments.

ASM Research received a three-year $162 million contract to support VistA’s Clinical Application and Enterprise Core Services, according to a release from Accenture, ASM’s parent company.


According to the release, ASM will update the Computerized Patient Record System, a part of VistA that provides a single interface for doctors and administrators who interact with a VA patient. ASM’s update will allow web-based access to the CPRS. 

“VistA Enterprise Core Services will modernize the VistA workflow and information access throughout the continuum of patient care for our veterans,” Jim Traficant, president of ASM Research and a managing director at Accenture Federal Services, said in a statement.

The company will also attempt to improve how care transitions, implementations of standards of care and other data are shared across the department. In addition, the company will provide software development, engineering management, technical architecture and training to the VistA modernization process in an attempt to “build the next level of patient care capabilities within VistA,” according to the release.

“The VA’s ability to improve data interoperability will have a dramatic effect on the VA’s provision of the quality of care, patient safety and health care outcomes,” John Fraser, ASM Research executive vice president and chief operating officer, said.

The scheduling portion of VistA has been the subject of much controversy in recent months and will be replaced soon, according to a press release from the VA. The department hosted an industry day on June 18 to meet with technology vendors about the upcoming acquisition of a new system.


A contract for the alternative to VistA’s scheduling system is expected to be awarded by the end of 2014. According to a confidential “Decision Briefing” obtained by FedScoop, the VA knew of significant security vulnerabilities that existed in the system before insecurities leaked into public view during the recent wait list scandal.

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