Indian Health Service (IHS) Plans to Modernize EHR

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | June 13, 2013

The Indian Health Service (IHS), the federal agency in charge of providing healthcare to more than two million Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, is currently in the process of upgrading its Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) to increase interoperability and streamline EHR adoption by 2014, promote health information exchange by participating in the eHealth Exchange, and hopefully meet the same EHR standards as civilian meaningful users by 2016.

“At this point in time, the electronic health records at different facilities are independent of each other within the Indian Health Care System, so there is no direct communication between facilities,” said Dr. Howard Hays, acting director of the Indian Health Service’s Office of Information Technology, who also serves as the agency’s acting chief information officer. To solve the problem and the agency is investing $10 million to improve internal communication as well as data sharing with external partners, including the VA.

RPMS is a derivative of the VistA EHR used by the Department of Veterans Affairs, used in 391 federal and tribal hospitals and clinics.