VA weighing multiple platforms, cloud-based options for VistA replacement

The agency filed two RFIs late Tuesday asking industry leaders about commercial software-as-service options and how to modernize VistA by stitching together multiple platforms.
By Jessica Davis
11:31 AM

Two formal request for information filed by the Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday may provide insight on the agency’s planned direction for its VistA electronic health records platform.

The first RFI asks the industry for insights on how to modernize VistA and the agency’s Health Management Platform, the interface platform currently being developed by the agency’s IT department.

It suggests the VA may be looking to keep VistA at the core level, while stitching together both commercial and homegrown software.

[Also: VA finally gets transparent on veteran wait times, clinical care quality]

“Whereas EHR or other companies are likely to develop viable products and make them available three to six years from now, VHA needs something like the enterprise Health Management Platform (eHMP) today,” the RFI reads.

“VA would like an option to license a commercial, standards-based intelligence platform, as an existing COTS or as a new Software, similar to eHMP that provides robust team and process management,” the RFI states.

Further, the VA is looking for a commercial health IT platform to act as a bridge between existing and future EHR systems, which to prevent issues plaguing the current, outdated EHR.

The second RFI seeks information on a commercial software-as-service model, which means the VA may be considering a cloud-based option. For example, a fully-integrated system would allow the VA to keep its current system, while creating a standardized platform and increasing storage, speed and efficiency. It would also make it significantly easier to update the system.

VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, said he plans to make his final decision for VistA by July.

Twitter: @JessiefDavis

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