VA issues RFI on transitioning to commercial EHR

Inching closer toward the possibility of replacing its EHR system, the Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a request for information regarding business support for transitioning to a commercial product.

The VA has been considering replacing its homegrown VistA EHR with a commercial system. VA CIO LaVerne Council first floated the idea in March of adopting a commercial system, and agency officials have been mentioning the possibility with more frequency in recent hearings. Now the RFI, posted Aug. 5, indicates the agency is looking more seriously as a commercial replacement option to remain technologically up-to-date.

"Over the years and due to local customization there are few standard data elements, a variety of complex algorithms and heterogeneous mix of legacy hardware and software supporting 130 unique VistA instances across the VA enterprise making modernization and standardization efforts extremely complicated, expensive and time consuming," according to the RFI.

The RFI specifically seeks industry feedback, guidance and recommendations on change management associated with the acquisition and transition to a commercial, off-the-shelf EHR platform, not the hardware or software itself.

The VA makes clear this is just a request for information for planning purposes and is not an invitation for bids or proposals. It says the government has no obligation to acquire any products or services outlined in the RFI, and all responses to the solicitation are purely for informational purposes.

Responses are due to the VA by Aug. 26.

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