VA Considering Software-as-a-Service Model for VistA EHR System | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

VA Considering Software-as-a-Service Model for VistA EHR System

April 14, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued two requests for information (RFI) this week related to potentially replacing or enhancing its aging electronic health record (EHR) system, called the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) system.

In one RFI published on FedBizOpps.gov, the VA is seeking information about commercial off the shelf replacements for VistA provided in a SaaS model, a Web-based model, as an alternative to VA continuing to operate its VistAs, which are not fully modernized, the department stated in the RFI. The department also is separately exploring commercial off the shelf non-VistA EHR alternatives.

The VA also states in the RFI that although VistA is currently an integrated administrative, financial, business, and clinical system supporting VA's operations, the primary purpose of the RFI is to focus on the clinical component of VistA, which is analogous to its EHR functionality, to include lab and pharmacy.

The department will accept input from interested vendors through April 26.

In another RFI, the department is asking for the industry’s insight to inform its strategy to commercialize or acquire commercial capabilities similar to those developed and planned for VA's health information technology (HIT) platforms such as the Enterprise Health Management Platform (eHMP).

The concept behind VA’s HIT, the department writes in the RFI, is as an intelligence platform and user experience that could potentially "sit on top" of any number of EHR systems and provide clinicians with decision and process support against the longitudinal electronic health record of the patient. It has three main tiers: longitudinal database, service-oriented-architecture-(SOA)-style intelligence applications, and user interface. “VA s newly developed HIT is currently designed to interface with VistA, so responses to this RFI should include how the vendor would interface a commercialized version of eHMP or a commercial alternative with VistA and/or commercial EHRs,” the agency wrote.

The VA will accept input from interested vendors to that RFI through April 25.

In previous RFI, the VA also provides an overview of its current EHR system. “VA currently runs 130 separate VistA Instances. Each one is unique in that there are variations of the routines and data dictionaries for each instance. They are hosted at five data centers across the US and support over 1,200 VHA hospitals and clinics. Each VistA instance is composed of over 2,700 files, 64,000 data fields; 1,300 print templates; 9,100 options structured across 1,700 menus; 3,300 remote procedure calls; 38,000 routines, and 4.7 million lines of code.”

Further, the department states, “Each system has some local variation of all of these artifacts and the current environment is further described at a multi-tier architecture layer level. Additionally, there is a separate DR, Test, and VistA Read Only instance that matches each of the 130 operational VistAs, meaning each VistA instances has four copies currently. “

The department will accept input from interested vendors through April 26.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Healthcare Execs Anticipate High Cost Returns from Predictive Analytics Use

Healthcare executives are dedicating budget to predictive analytics, and are forecasting significant cost savings in return, according to new research from the Illinois-based Society of Actuaries.

Adam Boehler Tapped by Azar to Serve as Senior Value-Based Care Advisor

Adam Boehler, currently director of CMMI, has also been named the senior advisor for value-based transformation and innovation, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced.

Vivli Launches Clinical Research Data-Sharing Platform

On July 19 a new global data-sharing and analytics platform called Vivli was unveiled. The nonprofit group’s mission is to promote, coordinate and facilitate scientific sharing and reuse of clinical research data.

Survey: More Effective IT Needed to Improve Patient Safety

In a Health Catalyst survey, physicians, nurses and healthcare executives said ineffective information technology, and the lack of real-time warnings for possible harm events, are key obstacles to achieving their organizations' patient safety goals.

Physicians Still Reluctant to Embrace Virtual Tech, Survey Finds

While consumers and physicians agree that virtual healthcare holds great promise for transforming care delivery, physicians still remain reluctant to embrace the technologies, according to a new Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey.

Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.