DOD awards seven contracts for $2.5 billion to build health network

The Defense Department today awarded contracts to seven vendors as part of a $2.5 billion program that should help make military patient records accessible electronically from anywhere in the world.

The contracts—- for one lot of the Defense Medical Information Management/Systems Integration, Design, Development, Operations and Maintenance Services (D/SIDDOMS) II program—- went to American Management Systems Inc., BDM International Inc. (now part of TRW Inc.), Computer Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp., IBM Corp., Litton/PRC Inc. and Science Applications International Corp. The contract covers systems design, development, operations and maintenance.

The companies will support a health care network that serves the entire U.S. military and includes more than 100 hospitals and clinics and more than 500 medical centers worldwide. DOD has about a half-dozen computer systems groups encompassing clinical systems, medical logistics systems, resources systems and corporate/executive information systems with patient-level information.

DOD officials say they need D/SIDDOMS II to make these systems interoperable so that medical workers spread across the nation and the globe can exchange information seamlessly. Giving medical workers better access to patient records will enable them to make better decisions about treatment, thereby improving the quality of care and helping to keep costs down.

"The information infrastructure is just critical for us making good business decisions," said Christine Thompson, the D/SIDDOMS II contracting officer. Thompson said having many contractors for the awarded lot of D/SIDDOMS II will allow officials at military medical facilities to choose contractors that best suits their needs.

Contracting officials expect to receive best and final offers for the other three lots of D/SIDDOMS II within the next month. The three lots remaining have a combined estimated value of $1.5 billion.

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