VA Releases Custodial Agent RFP

On Friday the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released its long-anticipated Request for Proposal (RFP) for an open source custodial agent. This custodial agent will manage the open source EHR ecosystem for VA's VistA system. Response to the RFP is due on May 22. The goal of this effort is clearly outlined in the RFP.

It states: “VA believes that the most reliable, most cost effective, and – based on experience – quickest mechanism to re-position this tremendous national asset and to keep pace with innovation is to create a custodial agent based on well-understood open source business models. By doing so, we will provide a transparent mechanism to incorporate new features and capabilities into the source code, provide industry a high fidelity signal of our intentions and uniform acceptance criteria, and better proliferate those innovations inside our hospitals and clinics.”

According to the RFP “Our intention is to create a structured, deliberate, and predictable migration path from our custom and proprietary EHR software to an openly architected, modular, and standards-based platform. We believe that a non- governmental custodian will achieve all these objectives quickly and efficiently.”

Over the next couple of weeks Open Health News is going to analyze the RFP in detail as well as the implications for the future of VistA and open source in healthcare.



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