The Indian Health Service is seeking enterprise health IT software to replace its current platform.
The IHS currently relies on the internally developed Resource and Patient Management System to support a broad range of processes at its facilities, as well as at many tribal and urban healthcare organizations.
“The IHS Office of Information Technology develops and updates the system regularly, issuing patches that are installed on each instance by local staff,” explained IHS staff in a draft statement of objectives published to a General Services Administration website this past week.
However, the SOO continued, “in recent years, advances in health-related standards and technologies, an increasingly complex regulatory environment around HIT, and the decision of the VA, IHS’ longtime collaborative partner, to move to a commercial off-the-shelf HIT solution, have combined to make the current approach to IHS HIT development and support nonsustainable going forward.”
WHY IT MATTERS
Currently, the government is seeking industry feedback on its draft SOO, as well as capability statements from electronic health record vendors and integrators interested in the acquisition.
As the SOO explained, the Department of Health and Human Services and IHS spent two years analyzing options for modernizing the agency’s HIT infrastructure.
After taking a deep dive into the RPMS ecosystem, stakeholders determined that replacing it entirely was the most appropriate, realistic and sustainable option.
“The IHS is confident that commercial solutions are available that will enable the agency to move forward with a truly modern system that will not only support but improve its healthcare operations into the future,” read the SOO.
Modernization will inevitably pose challenges. When it comes to the IS in particular, the agency flagged potential hurdles:
- Meeting a diverse set of tribal requirements.
- Complying with federal, state and tribal reporting requirements.
- Developing solutions to meet the needs of different-sized facilities.
- Migrating and synchronizing data across different platforms.
Responses to the request for information are due by Thursday of this week.
THE LARGER TREND
The last major health IT modernization project undertaken by the federal government is undoubtedly looming over conversations regarding the potential IHS update: the Department of Veterans Affairs’ beleaguered Cerner EHR implementation.
ON THE RECORD
“IHS seeks HIT [solutions] that use innovative, next-generation technologies and incorporate best-practice clinical and business processes for improved healthcare outcomes,” read the draft SOO.