Work begins on Government Computer-Based Patient Record

The goal is a
“seamless exchange and access to information.”


Litton PRC Inc. will develop the first version of the Government Computer-Based Patient
Record, under a one-year task order that could set broad new standards for health care
records.


Six of the seven Lot 3 prime contractors for the Defense Medical Information
System/Systems Integration, Design, Development, Operations and Maintenance Services II
contract submitted GCPR proposals to the Defense Supply Service–Washington in June,
said Col. Lynn Ray, chief program manager for the Composite Health Care System II Program
Office.


Ray said he could not estimate the task order’s value because Litton PRC has not
yet responded to the statement of work. Input of Vienna, Va., put the GCPR project’s
value at $5 million.


Industry consultant Robert J. Guerra of Guerra and Associates of Oakton, Va., placed
the value around $13 million.


“I don’t think we’ll have a patient record system” as a result of
Litton PRC’s work, but “we’ll have a set of standards and protocols,”
Ray said.


The GCPR partners are the Defense Department Office of Health Affairs, Indian Health
Service, Louisiana State University Medical Center and Veterans Health Administration.


Ray said Litton PRC will deliver the first version of GCPR after August 1999.


“We had a shared vision, and we’re heading down parallel paths,” said
Dr. Richard Ferrans, telemedicine chief at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. “We
wanted seamless exchange and access to information.”


Litton PRC’s proposal gave a detailed explanation of problems that need to be
resolved before health care providers can share information, Ray said.


The company will develop the fundamental architecture for a system that he compared to
AT&T Corp. providing long-distance service to telephone customers who want to place
calls over other providers’ networks.


GCPR is supposed to help DOD keep track of a widely dispersed and mobile work force,
Ray said. “We need portable data that you can pull anywhere,” he said.


The common record also will eliminate the need for Veterans Affairs Department
officials to create duplicate records for retired personnel who seek medical service at VA
facilities.


Ray said the system must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act of 1996, which requires the secretary of Health and Human Services to
set standards for electronic transactions that ensure privacy during the processing and
transmission of patient data such as Social Security numbers and health conditions (see
story, Page 16).


In addition to security standards, the GCPR project will establish a framework for data
access and messaging, Ferrans said. “It’s a core for standardizing order entry,
nurses’ and doctors’ notes,” and applications that access legacy data, he
said.


After the partners get GCPR running and “work out the kinks, there could be a
rush” to adopt the standards elsewhere, Ferrans said.  

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