The U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General says the DoD’s plan to roll out its $9 billion modernized electronic healthcare record (EHR) system by December “may not be realistic,” according to an audit report.
The DoD IG audit report cautioned about potential delays involved with developing and testing the interfaces needed to interact with legacy systems and ensuring the new EHR system is secure against cyber attacks.
In April, the DoD announced that the massive project to modernize the Military Health Systems’ EHR system, now called MHS Genesis, will launch at the end of this year. The new EHR implementation is slated to begin in the Pacific Northwest at the end of 2016, followed by a pre-planned, programmed installation expected to be completed over a several-year period, DoD officials said, as previously reported by Healthcare Informatics.
It was announced last July that EHR vendor Cerner and Leidos won the DoD’s Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) EHR contract.
The IG audit report was classified as “For Official Use Only,” however a summary of the audit report was published on the DoD IG website. According to the audit report summary, the IG found in its audit that the “DHMSM program mandated execution schedule may not be realistic for meeting the required initial operational capability date of December 2016.”
Specifically, the IG audit report stated, “While the DHMSM program office has identified risks and mitigation strategies, it is still at risk for obtaining an EHR system by the December 2016 initial operational capability date because of the risks and potential delays involved in developing and testing the interfaces needed to interact with legacy systems, ensuring the system is secure against cyber attacks, and ensuring the fielded system works correctly and that users are properly trained.
The IG’s office recommends the Program Executive Officer for DHMSM perform a schedule analysis to determine whether the December 2016 initial operational capability deadline is achievable while also continuing to monitor DHMSM program risks and reporting its progress to Congress in quarterly briefings.
According to the audit report, the DHMSM Program Executive Officer “neither agreed nor disagreed” with the recommendation to perform an analysis of its timeline.
“The program office is confident that it will achieve initial operational capability later this year in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act,” the audit report stated. “However, the Program Executive Officer did not provide documentation to support his statement. Therefore, we ask that the Program Executive Officer reconsider and perform a schedule analysis to determine whether the initial operational capability deadline is achievable.”