Intermountain to aid Cerner on DoD bid

Health system is already working with Cerner to build Intermountain EHR
By Bernie Monegain
10:32 AM

Cerner will get a little help from its prestigious client, Intermountain Healthcare, when it prepares its bid for the Department of Defense EHR contract, which could be valued at up to $11 billion, according to the government.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Cerner announced Sept. 24 that Intermountain would provide clinical governance of solutions and workflow that Cerner would propose for the Department of Defense's Healthcare Management System Modernization initiative. It follows an announcement in July that Cerner teamed up with technology consulting firm Accenture and another government contractor, Leidos, to prepare a joint bid for the work.

The DoD initiative aims to replace legacy healthcare systems, including the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application – the DoD's existing EHR system, the inpatient Composite Health Care System, in addition to several components of the Theater Medical Information Program-Joint.

Plenty are scrambling for the work.

Cerner will compete with its prime competitor Epic Systems for the contract. Epic announced last June, it would team up with IBM to submit a bid. Also, last June, Allscripts, CSC and HP teamed up to bid on the contract.

[See also: IBM, Epic unite for massive DoD contract and Allscripts, CSC, HP bid for DoD contract.]

PwC US announced earlier this month it would put in a bid for the Department of Defense EHR contract, teaming up with MedSphere and others to propose an open source system. MedSphere's OpenVistA EHR system is a commercial version of the VA's clinical software, VistA. 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 capabilities with commercial EHR vendors DSS and MedSphere, and systems integrator General Dynamics Information Technology.

"Leveraging decades of clinical experience and research, Intermountain will work with Cerner to meet the military's specific requirements to modernize its electronic health record (EHR) process," the Sept. 24 Cerner news release states.

[See also: PwC to offer DoD open source EHR.]

"Intermountain is excited about bringing Cerner's standards-based service strategy to the military health system," said Stan Huff, Intermountain's chief medical informatics officer, in a press statement. "This strategy holds the potential for sharing of platform-independent applications and clinical decision support. No one in health IT is more qualified than Cerner to deliver tools that are at once cutting-edge, intuitive and user-friendly for patients and medical staff to securely share EHR data and ensure optimal patient care. Intermountain is honored to share our deep knowledge of clinical systems architecture and workflow with Cerner as we jointly work toward the Leidos Partnership's delivery of this critical update to our military's healthcare management system."

Jeff Townsend, Cerner executive vice president and chief of staff, called attention to "Intermountain's extensive history and expertise with military health partnerships, as well as its unparalleled reputation for excellence in research, education and collaboration, are invaluable as we work to deliver a world-class solution for our active duty military, veterans and their families."

Intermountain has been working with Cerner on its own EHR, having signed a contract with the EHR vendor about a year ago. Intermountain announce last September, it would replace its in-house built system with one from Cerner.Led by Townsend, several key Cerner leaders and staff relocated to Salt Lake City to work on the project.

[See also: Intermountain signs sweeping EHR deal.]

DoD officials expect to select the vendor in the third quarter of FY 2015.