US Coast Guard pulls out of Epic EHR contract, forcing return to paper records

Officials determined there were 'significant risks' to continuing rollout, had concerns about a viable final product, spokesperson says.
By Jessica Davis
04:05 PM
coast guard EHR

The United States Coast Guard has terminated its electronic health record contract with Epic, it was confirmed today.

Officials uncovered various irregularities, which drove the final decision to terminate the contract, Lieutenant Commander Dave French, the Coast Guard's chief of media relations, told Healthcare IT News. These irregularities are currently under review.

In 2010, the Coast Guard awarded a $14 million contract to Epic to design its commercial off-the-shelf EHR product.

In the following years, the initiative expanded into a broader re-engineering project known as the Integrated Health Information System, or IHiS.

[Also: Coast Guard awards $17 million contract for health information system]

That expansion increased the cost and technical complexity of the project, said French.

"In 2015 the Coast Guard determined there were significant risks associated with continuing the IHiS project and decided not to exercise further contract options," he said.

"The decision was driven by concerns about the project's ability to deliver a viable product in a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable cost. As a result of the analysis that led to the discontinuation of the project, various irregularities were uncovered, which are currently being reviewed."

Officials are in the process of reviewing and closing out contracts and settling outstanding invoices and potential claims, he said.

The Coast Guard will restart its search for another EHR system and thoroughly evaluate its options for potential alternatives. There's currently no projected timeline for the deployment of the new system.

Paper-based records will be used in the interim, without interruption of service to members and dependents.

"The Coast Guard is committed to ensuring proper management and oversight of the acquisition process for a new EHR system," said French.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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