Last week, our Director of Capture, Tris Carpenter, attended the annual Defense Health Information Technology Summit (DHITS) in Orlando, Florida. Aside from enjoying the sunny weather, he attended a number of valuable sessions, gathered agency updates, and met and mingled with new and old contacts alike. Check out Tris’ key takeaways below.
What was said that our clients would find valuable?
There were many valuable findings out of DHITS 2018 – these are the key updates our client should be aware of.
- Military Health System (MHS) is going through substantial changes. It started with the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and continuing with the FY 2019 NDAA.
- High priority agency initiatives include, advancing data sciences, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence applications.
- Important Note: Contractors should anticipate and respond to customer priorities including, Desktop to Datacenter / MED-COI, support to MHS Genesis, and implementing a Cyber Operations Center.
- The agency developed an IT “Cost Warrior” mission to implement an integrated and protected medical information exchange to ensure data is accessible to the right customers in the right way.
- They are looking to design and implement solutions leading to efficiencies to enable cost reductions of IT manpower, infrastructure, and operations.
- DHA is already providing many enterprise services across the MHS and have undergone IT Reform analysis since 2014, executing plans to achieve required savings.
- The four areas identified for efficiencies include: 1. Creating shared services, 2. Medical network modernization, 3. EHR modernization, and 4. Reducing manpower
- They will continue cloud hosting consolidation efforts and looking to establish a MED-COI Cloud Access Point (CAP) and initial cloud team – managed services organization
- 87 systems have been identified with a high probability of being replaced by MHS Genesis; 16 of the 87 are enterprise systems (including ALHTA and CHCS)
- The agency is looking at how to best incorporate feedback from the MHS Genesis stabilization and adoption period, as deployment advances with EHR deployment.
- Raquel Bono, DHA Director, stressed the importance of having a system that is secure and how feedback will be used to improve the system.
- Stacy Cummings, Defense Healthcare Management Systems PEO, announced four new MHS Genesis sites including three sites in California and one in Idaho.
- DoD is adding Coast Guard to their MHS GENESIS EHR implementation project, raising their contract ceiling with Cerner by $1.1 billion.
- Cerner platform will bring multiple EHRS into a single integrated system, including medical and dental information for the first time.
- Starting October 1st, Military Treatment Facilities and Defense Health Units will obtain DHA enterprise core IT services (e.g. Global Service Center).
- Two key joint IT projects between DoD and VA include the Joint Patient Safety Reporting System (JPSR) and Joint Centralized Credentials Quality Assurance System (JCCQAS).
- VA has stood up a new Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization, headed by Genevieve Morris.
- The office reports to SECVA Robert Wilkie, until a permanent Deputy Secretary is appointed
- The VA EHR IOC sites are all in the Pacific Northwest (Spokane, Seattle, and Las Vegas). All three sites are going live at the same time.
- The VA has already started virtual training, end-user engagement, infrastructure modernization, and data migration activities for the EHR IOC implementation.
- The VA will have a research relationship with Cerner; agreement to be co-innovators; establish a Cerner hosted sandbox and use of the Cerner app store.
- VA is also working with Cerner to build a learning university to hold educations sessions, yet to be named “Informatics Institute.”
Which companies would have most benefited from this event/conversation?
Small and medium-sized businesses looking to develop and grow their presence across the MHS, including joint EHR implementation and Patient Safety initiatives with VA and Coast Guard. The conference provided a balanced mix of Government folks, system integrators, service providers, and platform vendors.
Would you go again?
Yes, this is a valuable event for Industry to gather with Defense and Veteran Health IT leaders across acquisition, procurement, and program execution domains. It’s an interactive forum with high accessibility to decision makers during the breakout sessions and well-attended evening networking events.