Coast Guard picks Cerner, which matches the DOD's EHR

After funneling nearly $60 million into a failed EHR overhaul, the U.S. Coast Guard has chosen to implement the same Cerner EHR the Department of Defense in is the middle of transitioning to, FCW reports.

Coast Guard officials said April 9 the agency would move to the MHS Genesis system, which is powered by Cerner. Instead of issuing a separate deal, the Coast Guard will join the DOD's existing 10-year, $4.3 billion contract. Leidos is serving as the prime contractor.

Coast Guard Director of Acquisition Programs and PEO Rear Adm. Michael Johnston declined to offer a cost estimate to FCW, but explained "the Coast Guard is about 2 percent the size of the DOD from a service member perspective."

In 2015, the Coast Guard terminated a 2010 deal with Epic to replace its outdated EHRs across 176 sites within five years for $14 million. The actual amount spent on the system — which the agency has nothing to show for  — was much higher.

"According to the Coast Guard, as of August 2017, $59.9 million was spent on the project over nearly seven years and no equipment or software could be reused for future efforts," the Government Accountability office wrote in a report at the time, FCW reports. Moreover, the Coast Guard has been using a paper-based process since 2015.

Although switching to the same system as the DOD has a number of potential benefits, the DOD has been facing obstacles with its Cerner rollout, including user-reported slowness. And, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been cautious to award its EHR overhaul contract to Cerner until all interoperability concerns with the DOD are addressed. Additional executive shuffling in the VA has also delayed the acquisition.

More articles on EHRs:
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