In its bid to win a contract worth an estimated $11 billion to build a new electronic health records system for the Department of Defense, an IBM-Epic team has formed an advisory group of 17 healthcare executives, physicians and veterans to share best practices learned from Epic’s EHR deployments.

The advisory group includes Bruce Turkstra, the former CIO of Kaiser Permanente, who led the largest private sector deployment of Epic’s EHR, supporting the care of 9.5 million members. The group also includes physicians and experts from the American Medical Informatics Association, Duke University Health System and School of Medicine, Geisinger, Gundersen Health System, Mercy Health, Mount Sinai Health System, Nemours, Partners HealthCare, Sentara Healthcare, Sutter Health, UC San Diego Health System and Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Members of the group will provide input on their respective experiences with governance, best practices, training, interoperability, analytics, research, population health, behavioral health, patient engagement, and other areas. In addition, retired Major William Lyles, a decorated U.S. Army Special Forces veteran wounded in combat, will serve as the group’s dedicated “patient champion” focusing on care transitions and providing input on a patient friendly experience for service members and their families.

 In June 2014, IBM teamed with Epic—whose EHR is the most widely used system in the United States—and other industry partners in its bid for the lucrative DoD EHR contract. Four teams of health IT vendors and government IT contractors—Computer Sciences Corp./Allscripts/Hewlett-Packard, IBM/Epic/Impact Advisors, Leidos/Accenture/Cerner/Intermountain Healthcare, and PricewaterhouseCoopers/General Dynamics IT/DSS Inc./Medsphere—are competing for the DoD EHR contract. The teams submitted their bids at the end of October 2014 with a procurement decision expected later this year.

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