VA, DOD seek assessment of virtual e-health record vision

Pilot projects in communities to start in April

The Veterans Affairs and Defense departments want a contractor to evaluate how well they are sharing their patient records with each other and with other providers. The goal is to create a shared Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) for each service member.

The VA and DOD published a sources sought notice on Jan. 12 that seeks a health analyst willing to visit four to six communities to analyze how the information sharing is progressing. Responses are due by Jan. 26.

The health data will be exchanged over the Health and Human Service Department’s Nationwide Health Information Network.

One of the communities has been chosen, and four to six more will be chosen this year, the notice states.

“The VLER Health Communities Initiative is the first necessary step for the implementation and refinement of VLER,” states the notice. The communities will be evaluated on cost and quality outcomes, following a performance evaluation now under development.

The evaluation plan will be provided to the contractor who will implement the plan in each community. The contractor may need to travel to one or more communities, and will need to evaluate the completeness of the data and the contribution of non-VA data, the notice said.

The expected period of performance is to begin in April 2010, the notice said. The contract will have a single base year and two option years.

The VA and DOD began identifying communities for the project in December. In October, VA Chied Information Officer Roger Baker said the first phase of the project was complete.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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