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The Department of the Army will determine patient privacy and identity management standards that can be included in the integrated electronic health record being developed by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments.
The Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center at Fort Detrick, Md., has put out a request for proposals for research around the information security and privacy measures for the DOD-VA iEHR to be able to exchange, compare and aggregate patient data safely while also meeting meaningful use.
The research center fosters partnerships among industry, academia and government to advance the development of emerging technologies and improve health care.
“The DOD and VA must be confident that the EHRs are secure and protect patient privacy,” the Army said in its Aug. 2 announcement in Federal Business Opportunities. This hinges on the successful adoption of standards and end-user security and privacy measures, the notice added.
Proposals are due Sept. 4. The subsequent contract will last one year with two additional option years.
[See also: The three phases of HIE in Massachusetts.]
The vendor will perform research about the current state and emerging data standard technologies around patient privacy and identity management, including addressing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Act requirements and appropriate Health Level 7 standards, which should be incorporated into the iEHR.
The contract awardee will recommend privacy and access control standards for the Military Health System and offer implementation guidance in the form of a handbook and develop a health IT research and development strategic roadmap for addressing patient privacy and identity management issues in the iEHR.
The Army also wants to analyze strategies for the use of agile software development practices as an alternative to the traditional waterfall-based acquisition method to improve delivery of its IT initiatives and promote innovation within the Military Health System (MHS).
Agile software methods rely on iterative development, adaptive planning and collaboration and flexible response to change. The contractor will have to understand when agile methods are appropriate for IT projects over traditional large-scale implementations.
For example, the vendor will research and pilot an agile software implementation, such as a joint immunization capability application or a Connect transition gateway and adapter, and track monthly the iteration of the product. Connect is a representation of the nationwide health information network’s software and services.