Defense Health Information Technology Symposium (DHITS)

DHA LogoThe 2014 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium (DHITS) was held last week in Orlando, FL. AEGIS attendance and participation in the event capitalized on our ever-growing role we play in the “continuous interoperability” challenges that have plagued the DoD in its development of an integrated electronic health record.

AEGIS received up-to-date information on the strategic direction for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Health IT (HIT) Directorate, its vision for shared services, and the impact of these initiatives to the field activities. DHITS provided critical information management and information technology (IM/IT) knowledge, shared innovative ideas, and discussed lessons learned and new developments. This year’s symposium brought together participants from DHA, the Military Health System (MHS), and Military Services Health IT community to share knowledge, provide continuing education, and gain greater understanding of IT issues. The sessions featured discussions on how DHA is beginning to transform, a status update on the soon-to-be-released Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Department of Defense (DoD) Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM), and an update on the organization of DHA as well as the Military Health System (MHS). Senior DHA staff provided information about the upcoming EHR acquisition. It appears that RFP is about a month away from its formal release. DHA expects that the source selection process will take about 6-9 months, but by the end of 2016, DHMSM will have tested and deployed the new EHR system to the initial operational capability (IOC) sites in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, before moving to other sites across the world. DHA acknowledged that this is an aggressive schedule but believes that they can meet their target timetables for deployments.

Mario Hyland (@interopguy), AEGIS Senior Vice President & Founder, had the pleasure of interacting with many senior level staff at the symposium and exchanging insights as to how an effective interoperability testing platform/ecosystem can help DoD reach their EHR and other HIT goals. We look forward to continuing this important dialog.

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