Coast Guard aims to add mobility to its EHR

By Mary Mosquera
10:01 AM

The U.S. Coast Guard wants to acquire an interface for its Integrated Health Information System so providers and staff can access and update electronic health records using laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices.

The mobile interface will enable users to view medical information and document medical care in a variety of settings, including chair or bed-side during examinations; remotely for physician review of labs; and remotely at disaster recovery sites.

The Coast Guard, an agency of the Homeland Security Department, will install the secure mobile interface and wireless system at three clinics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and West Virginia, for a pilot project, during which the service will complete federally required security system certification and accreditation.

The vendor will prepare wireless installation kits and ship them with mobile devices to the remaining clinics when the system is ready for full deployment, according to a recent request for proposals announcement in Federal Business Opportunities. Proposals are due Aug. 29. The contract will last for one year with four more option years available.

The Coast Guard operates 43 ambulatory clinics across the nation and remote sickbays on land and afloat.

The Integrated Health Information System (IHiS) is based on the Epic electronic health record system and is the product of a system wide re-engineering of clinical workflows and feeder information systems so integrated applications will operate effectively.

Beside the EHR, IHiS includes a single sign-on using the Defense Department-administered Common Access Card (CAC) for authentication combined with a unified graphical user interface (GUI) and supported by eight tightly integrated components. The Coast Guard is piloting the IHiS at the same time as the mobile interface component pilot.

The selected vendor will supply the wireless networks that can be integrated with the Coast Guard’s existing wired network; a server that supports VPN connections from mobile devices to IHiS; tablet devices and smart phones; hardware for required CAC authentication for the devices and mobile device software.