Cerner Corporation team awarded Contract to Build Defense Department’s Electronic Health Records System

A team including Cerner Corporation, Leidos and Accenture has been given multibillion-dollar contract by the Defense Department. Under the $4.3 billion contract, the team will digitize the health records of the department.

The contract is the first phase of a project that is estimated to run for more than 18 years and is expected to cost $9 billion. Cerner team has won the contract by beating its main rival, Epic Systems. Epic was part of a team being headed by IBM.

Chris Miller, Defense Healthcare Management Systems program executive officer, said, "We feel confident that we made a good source selection. Competition has worked, costs have come in below our estimates. We're very happy with the results we've got".

One of the main objectives is to let the Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs Department to be electronically able to transmit records to each other. In all, there were six bids. Many have thought that Epic, which is considered as the market leader in electronic health records, will be the winner.

Before the official announcement, it was hinted that Epic would not win. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said that they needed someone who had proved that they could achieve what the authorities required to get done.

The system will require complete interoperability with the Veterans Affairs' VistA health records system and also with private-sector systems and also serving around 9.6 million service members, retirees and dependents.

The system would be such that it would be able to be accessed by over 150,000 professional providers at 55 hospitals and more than 600 clinics. In the contract, several years of upgrades are included. The system will be completely rolled out by 2022. It shall be noted that schedule could change as well.