Harris will integrate disparate VA, DOD healthcare info systems

Harris Corp. will help integrate electronic health records for the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, two of the world’s largest healthcare systems, under an $80.3 million multi-year contract from the VA.

The contract from the VA’s Technology Acquisition Center calls for Harris to develop the system’s key services oriented architecture (SOA), which will be released in early 2014.

Under this award, Harris will provide a single architecture and joint execution strategy for the two agencies.

The SOA Suite will serve as the standard platform to migrate legacy systems, applications and sharing capabilities.

Harris will deploy a common federated middleware as a secure, virtualized, intelligent infrastructure allowing best-of-breed “Cloud First” services for all members of the DOD and VA healthcare systems.

The VA and DOD currently have several disparate healthcare information systems including VistA, CHCS and AHLTA, as well as 200 local data centers.

Harris plans to work with the DOD and VA to develop a demonstration site by September, with full site deployment slated for August 2013 and full SOA release by early 2014.

The contract represents a breakthrough in interoperability as the VA and DOD join forces to streamline administration and recordkeeping, exchange health information, contain costs, track and manage care and enhance outcomes for millions of active duty and retired military personnel and their families, according to Harris’ April 27 announcement.

“The VA/DOD electronic health record project promotes health information sharing across the full spectrum of military service—from active to retired service duty,” Jim Traficant, president of Harris Healthcare Solutions, said in the announcement. He said the new system will enhance the health status of millions of service members as they move from military healthcare to the VA or from one VA facility to another, and also will ensure a continuum of care across a service member’s lifetime.

The SOA Suite contract awarded to Harris is part of the VA's Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract vehicle designed to streamline VA operations, including the patient care delivered at more than 150 VA hospitals. Harris was one of 15 prime contractors selected for T4 in September 2011.

Harris Corp., of Melbourne, Fla., ranks No. 13 on Washington Technology’s 2011 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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