Coast Guard awards Epic $14M contract for new EHR

By Mary Mosquera
09:41 PM
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The U.S. Coast Guard awarded Epic Systems Corp. a $14 million contract to set up an electronic health record system with a broad array of state-of-the-art e-healthcare features.

The Epic system has modules for integrated medical, dental, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology and a patient portal. Under the contract, the firm will also provide training, testing, help desk services and back-up operations.
The deal was announced Oct. 4 on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

The Coast Guard's current EHR system does not meet federal requirements for a standards-based electronic medical record capable of exchanging health data, according to the announcement. It also lacks basic EHR features such as clinical decision support, population health reporting, and patient scheduling portals.

The current environment "is inefficient, experiences poor user satisfaction, and has no wireless user interfaces," the Coast Guard said.

The new EHR system replaces a version of a Defense Department system that includes the Composite Health Care System (CHCS), Provider Graphic User Interface (PGUI), and Armed Forces Healthcare Longitudinal Application (AHLTA).

The Coast Guard operates 43 ambulatory clinics across six time zones and remote sickbays on land and afloat. All land-based clinics and sickbays are connected to the Coast Guard Digital Network through which they access the Medical Information System.

Sickbays afloat have intermittent or no connectivity to the network and rely on stand-alone or store-and-forward systems, the announcement said.

Under the five-year contract, which took effect Sept. 30, the Epic system will enable the Coast Guard to exchange data using the nationwide health information network (NHIN).

The system will also use standards for sharing a patient's summary health status, the C32 and Continuity of Care (CCR) document formats, which support requirements for the virtual lifetime electronic record (VLER), a project of the DOD and Veterans Affairs Department, and longitudinal patient records, according to the announcement.