Defense Health Agency overhauling IT as EHR implementation approaches

The Defense Health Agency is focusing on strengthening its IT system as it prepares to implement an EHR system from Leidos.

The contract, awarded to Reston, Va.-based Leidos in May 2014, will last until May 2015 and the possibility of four year-long extensions as the DHA and the Department of Defense decide on a long-term solution.

The DHA's priorities include interoperability with the Veterans Health Administration, enterprise consolidation, eliminating duplicate applications and processes and standardization of enterprise activities, according to the Federal Times. The VHA and the DHA are independently pursuing new EHR systems and are collaborating to standardize medical terminology and other functions.

Some of the efforts to simplify and standardize the IT system stem from the DHA aligning itself with the Pentagon's Joint Information Environment, a Department of Defense-wide initiative to standardize the IT systems introduced in September 2013.

"This is an $11 billion procurement. When you think about that, this infrastructure piece is huge," DHA director Lt. Gen. Douglas Robb told the Federal Times. "So we have to think about what we're going to do to make sure we get the best performance out of that EHR."

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