PwC to offer DoD open source EHR

Teams up with MedSphere, General Dynamics
By Bernie Monegain
11:00 AM
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Computers and code

PwC US announced Friday it would put in a bid for the Department of Defense EHR contract, proposing an open source system.

Leveraging investments already made by the government into the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance by merging open source software with commercial applications, PwC plans to combine its healthcare operational and transformation capabilities with commercial EHR vendors DSS and MedSphere, and systems integrator General Dynamics Information Technology.

MedSphere's OpenVistA EHR system is a commercial version of the VA’s clinical software, VistA.

The PwC team would go head-to-head with IBM and Epic, which are also bidding on the project. Epic is among the most widely adopted EHR system in the country.

[See also: IBM, Epic unite for massive DoD contract.]

"Providing high quality healthcare to U.S. military families and veterans relies on secure access to patient records from any location or device," said Scott McIntyre, U.S. Public Sector leader, PwC," in a news release. "An interoperable healthcare IT management system that leverages existing investments not only creates efficiency and significant cost savings, it promotes better health outcomes for active duty military, veterans and their families."

The DoD's $11 billion Healthcare Management Systems Modernization Electronic Health Record program would replace and modernize the existing EHR system, which supports more than 9.7 million beneficiaries, including active duty, retirees and their dependents. It serves patients and clinicians in 2,300 locations around the world.

PwC's team is proposing an open architecture-based integrated EHR that promotes greater ease of integration with existing DoD legacy systems, as well as unlimited access to ongoing EHR innovations. PwC selected its proposed solution based on an extensive technical analysis using the DoD's unique government EHR requirements and the MHS' patient safety and quality standards.

[See also: VistA and Epic: A tale of two systems.]

"Given the rapid evolution of today's new health economy, technology driven disruption is inevitable, said Kelly Barnes, U.S. Health Industries leader, PwC, in a press statement. "Our approach fosters continued innovation and adaptability, without the need to be being 'locked in' to one technology. As a leader in healthcare consulting, PwC is well positioned to help the DoD modernize the current system, and enable transformation that can result in improved healthcare for their patients."

As PwC executives see it, its approach and the team it assembled would support the DoD's need to quickly transmit patient data and information across federal healthcare systems and private physician platforms.