HHS' Indian Health Service seeks to modernize VistA 'cousin' EHR

The Indian Health Service, an HHS agency tasked with providing health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives, issued a request for information Dec. 20 as part of its health IT modernization effort.

The Indian Health Service currently uses an integrated government-off-the-shelf health IT system — called the Resource and Patient Management System — for its clinical and business functions. RPMS is a "distant 'cousin'" to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' EHR VistA and the U.S. Department of Defense's EHR Composite Health Care System, sharing similar legacy infrastructure, according to the RFI.

As part of the Indian Health Service's health IT modernization effort, it has launched an exploratory market research project to investigate whether to augment or replace the RPMS legacy system. The agency is seeking stakeholder comments into the clinical and technical approaches it could use to improve functions like interoperability and population health.

"This project will address the current state of IHS health IT, where multiple legacy systems and disparate data stores, developed over four-plus decades, are in need of modernization to ensure and enable sustainability, flexibility, intra/interoperability, patient data federation, population health and clinical quality measures, toward improved continuity of care," the RFI reads.

To access the Indian Health Service's RFI, click here.

More articles on EHRs & interoperability:
Epic to release new EHR version, 'Sonnet,' in March 2018
10 EHR implementations with the biggest price tags in 2017
AMIA, Pew to Congress: Secure funding for the EHR reporting program

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