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IBM, Epic Make Preparations for Mega Department of Defense Contract

January 8, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
The winner of the Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) contract has yet to be chosen, and it could be a while before that happens, but IBM and Epic will be ready if their team is called. 
The two companies are vying to receive the DHMSM contract, worth an estimated $11 billion, which will aim to equip the Department of Defense (DoD) with a modern electronic health record (EHR) system. They're competing with several  heavyweights in both the defense contracting and EHR industries.. 
The bidding process ended a few months ago and the DoD is in the process of making its choice, which may not happen until the spring of this year. However, the Epic and IBM group are preparing to win. The companies announced they've formed a Military Health System (MHS) advisory group, with physicians, executives, and experts from private sector health systems that have experience deploying Epic. This includes the American Medical Informatics Association, Duke University Health System and School of Medicine, Geisinger, Gundersen Health System, Mercy Health, Mount Sinai Health System, Nemours, Partners HealthCare, Sentara Healthcare, Sutter Health, UC San Diego Health System, and Yale-New Haven Hospital.  
Retired Major William Lyles, who was wounded serving as an Army Green Beret, will partake in the advisory group as a patient champion. "We need a system that is well connected to the broader care civilian community and supports the same care provided at our nation's other top healthcare organizations," Lyles said in a statement.
According to a report in FCW, the contract calls for a system to be implemented by 2016. This timeline requires them to work on the project, before anyone has been announced as a winner. The team of IBM and Epic are reportedly testing the system as well, based on the contract's parameters. A spokesperson with IBM said to FCW the work being done is not an attempt to win favor with the DoD.

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