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IBM preps for DoD health management modernization contract

Andy Medici, Staff Writer, 5:34 p.m. EST January 7, 2015


Even as the Defense Department mulls over which team of companies to choose for its $11 billion dollar Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) contract, one group is already laying the groundwork for the project in case they are picked.

IBM and Epic, an electronic health records provider, announced Jan. 7 the formation of an advisory group of industry experts and health care providers to provide best practices and suggestions for the DHMSM contract.

“Transforming care is about so much more than standards and technology,” said Andy Maner, managing partner at IBM Federal. “Having an ecosystem of experts ready to provide expertise at the outset of DHMSM will prove to be invaluable and unmatched in the marketplace.”

Companies had until Oct. 31, 2014, to submit proposals for the modernization project, and besides IBM and Epic, three other groups submitted proposals as well:

  • Allscripts, Computer Sciences Corporation and Hewlett Packard
  • Accenture Federal, Leidos and Cerner
  • General Dynamics Information Technology, DSS, Medsphere and PricewaterhouseCoopers

The advisory group consists of experts from organizations such as Mount Sinai, Sentara Healthcare, Nemours and other hospitals.

IBM and Epic have also built a working and interoperable system at its data center in West Virginia in order to test capabilities and make sure the group of companies had a system that could be deployed quickly if it won the contract. The early version being tested by IBM is already successfully connecting to partner organizations across the country, according to the company.

Maner said while the companies have already submitted bids to the Defense Department, this was an attempt to make sure IBM and its partners could hit the ground running if it is awarded the contract and to make sure it could hit critical deadlines. By preparing early on in the process for the contract, IBM is hoping to elevate the dialogue around large-scale procurement projects by showing how seriously they take the prospect of the DoD modernization effort.

“We have long since believed that the dialogue about this procurement needed to be raised up because this town has a way of just thinking that something is just a software implementation. This is so far beyond that,” Maner said.

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