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DOD Says 20 Commercial Software Vendors Capable of Fixing ALTHA Medical Records–Relying on Market Research Opinions Could

Posted May 28 2013 11:01am

I read this article and immediately went to the part to where the recommendation came from and again with as big as the DOD system is and the complexities it immediately created a cloud of doubt as the department would be much better off to get additional information from an area outside of “market research”. 

That used to work in the “old” days but does not suffice very well today. As I keep saying, “the short order code kitchen burned down several years ago and there was no fire sale” and that certainly applies right here.

Sure there are vendors who have taken the VA system and modified it for use in the commercial world and I would think such vendors would be ones the DOD would look at with using a Microsoft Dot Net interface on the front end as has been designed.  It’s been a number of years since I have seen the ALTHA medical records system and one has to remember that record keeping here is unique to real time war and use on the battle field too, so their needs are going to be somewhat unique in some areas relative to some of the real time technologies they need.  If this were a simple project that didn’t involve huge expense and time, it would have been done a long time ago.  Since 2009 Social Security has been sharing records with both the VA and DOD.  We do have some work in progress as noted in the link below from February of this year. 

VA and DOD To Work to Accelerate EHR Integration - CACI International Was Awarded $91 Million Dollar 5 Year Contract in 2010 to Provide the Services-Big IT Infrastructure As Such Requires a Lot of Time/Money

We also recently had the two top IT folks at the VA leave their jobs recently and I might guess they were a little fed up with so many hands in the pot and little modeling and “real” IT type decisions being made.  We have a lot of working parts out there in the medical records with both sides and putting the puzzle together is not going to be easy by all means.  The article also said the VLER funding was separate?  How do you do that?  Data and software needs to come from somewhere….

$91 Million Prime Contract Awarded to Support Medical Record Sharing Veterans Affairs Beneficiaries–VLER-Lifetime Virtual Electronic Record Program– VA and DOD

On the other hand it might take all of the 20 vendors named to create a software system too:)  I think it is dangerous today to rely totally on market research though as it does not address the complexities of how complicated this really is and nor does it address the amount of hours and work that has already been spent here.  Again, complexities and providing the DOD with their real time needs as well as integrating with current VA systems is a huge chore and I can’t think of any other Health IT project that encompasses so many needs and areas of medical records, it is unique.  Sad our folks in DC just see it as “just another decision” and expect budgets and time to “grow on trees” to get it done.  I started out years ago stating that Congress could use some bigger technologies in modeling and creating laws but again they seem to think their brains are above it and we get the constant soap opera rhetoric on a steady diet in the news. 

IBM Watson Going to Work At Citigroup on Wall Street–Congress Didn’t See Big Data As A Tool (Hadoop Framework) When They Had Their Chance…For Consumers The Attack of the Killer Algorithms–Chapter 22

The least Congress could do is take advantage of the tremendous computing power that DOE has in their agency if they won’t look at some new methodologies to model laws.  This is kind if ironic in the fact that all are trying to resolve this issue and the very tools they could use to find the answers lies right in house at the DOE to help qualify and quantify some of the data and needs…(grin)…you really do have t crack a smile here when some of the resources are sitting under their noses that could be used to begin some kind of modeling here as it’s not the data, it’s the models that can help.  BD

1.7 Billion Super Computer Hours Awarded by the DOE–Biomedical Research Projects Included for Parkinson’s and Cancer

The Defense Department has found 20 commercial software vendors capable of modernizing its electronic health record system, Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told reporters at the Pentagon today.

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel backed the use of commercial software in a memo to Kendall. Hagel said he supported competitive procurements for undefined “core” EHR commercial software systems. Kendall said these procurements will provide a modernized Defense health record to replace the department’s existing Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application system, known as AHLTA.

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