A fourth vendor team has jumped in the bidding process for the Department of Defense electronic health records contract, valued at up to $11 billion.

Led by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the team includes DSS Inc. and MedSphere--two vendors of commercialized software based on the Department of Veteran Affairs’ VistA EHR--and systems integrator General Dynamics Information Technology.

The companies are proposing an open architecture system to ease integration between DOD and VA systems and promote access to new innovations without being locked into a single technology.

(See: Defense Department Issues RFP for Electronic Health Records)

Other teams competing for the project include IBM/Epic/Impact Advisors; Computer Sciences Corp./Allscripts/Hewlett Packard; and Cerner/Accenture/Leidos.

The viability of the new PwC bid, however, could be tenuous. To start, DOD has passed on multiple opportunities to adopt VA’s VistA. Further, DSS and MedSphere--which typically serve smaller hospitals and delivery systems--may not be able to match the scalability of powerhouses Epic, Cerner and Allscripts.

However, DSS and MedSphere are veteran vendors--MedSphere has more than 400 installs--who know well the VA’s VistA technology with which DOD will have to integrate.

The VA itself has also indicated it will make a bid for DOD to select its VistA system, but has not yet done so. Bids are due by October 9, 2014, with the selection of an EHR expected in the third quarter of fiscal 2015.

 

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