Briefs: TriCare awards EHR contract, Peak 10 HIPAA cloud, EHR patient safety

By Anthony Brino
10:22 AM

The Defense Department’s TriCare Management Activity (TMA) has awarded Evolvent Technologies a $20.5 million contract to build additional coding, database uses and mobile applications into AHLTA-A, the electronic medical record system for military members working in theatre, including in Afghanistan and on Naval ships.

Evolent, a subsidiary of Fairfax-based Mantech International, is also providing IT services and solutions for the National Institutes of Health’s health IT acquisition and assessment center, with a contract worth $20 billion, supporting IT and bioinformatics systems across federal agencies.

The Charlotte-based firm Peak 10 Data Center Solutions has released an updated version of its HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant cloud-based data services, now including a regular third-party audit on health information security.

Peak 10 is also offering a new cloud-based data service compliant with the Payment Card Industry’s data security standards.

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The number of certified EHR vendors in the U.S. has increased from 605 to more than 1000 since mid-2008, and as more providers focus on meeting Meaningful Use requirements, two Houston doctors writing in the New England Journal of Medicine are recommending a framework for aligning EHR systems with patient safety.

University of Texas bioinformatics professor Dean Sittig and Hardeep Singh, chief of health policy and quality at the Houston Veterans Affairs Center of Excellence, propose a framework for institutions to develop EHR- and software-centric risk mitigation strategies, define standards for appropriate use and to establish monitoring systems to prevent potential patient harm.

Since about half of all eligible hospitals and 20 percent of eligible physicians have so far attested to MU state 1, this type of framework, Sittig and Singh argue, could be used in part to address the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for EHR safety action and surveillance plans.