DOD Isn’t Ready To Let Go Of Legacy EHR Just Yet

Jennifer Bresnick | Government Health IT | November 6, 2013

The Department of Defense may be flirting with commercial EHR vendors, but they’re not ready to commit to an off-the-shelf product just yet.  In a request for information released this week, the Defense Health Agency indicated that it is looking for support of its Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) through 2018, meaning that no product viewed during October’s developer showcase is likely to be installed system-wide until that date.

Twenty-seven vendors were invited to demonstrate their EHR products in October, including most of the major players in the commercial space.  McKesson, Siemens, Allscripts, Epic, GE, and Cerner all put their products through their paces, as did the Department of Veterans Affairs, delivering on a DOD promise to consider VistA during the selection.  However, the extension of the maintenance contract for ALTHA shows that the DOD doesn’t believe that they will be able to get a commercial offering up and running for another four years, despite hopes to revamp the military system’s EHR by 2017.