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Southern California County Seeks Electronic Health Records Assistance

In a solicitation, the major Southern California county is seeking assistance in early 2022 to implement an electronic health records system.

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A linchpin Southern California county is seeking assistance from IT companies in modernizing a key aspect of its services to the public.

In a solicitation released Friday, Orange County seeks IT consultant services to implement an electronic health records system in early to mid-2022. The contractor ultimately selected will work with its Health Care Agency (HCA) on the project. Among the takeaways:

  • The HCA seeks bids from qualified vendors to deliver “technical project management services for the implementation of the Cerner Electronic Health Record System (EHR) within the Family Health Services Division of HCA Public Health Services,” according to the solicitation. It’s part of the overall effort to improve planning and delivery strategies related to California Department of Public Health guidelines that are part of “the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Enhancing Detection Expansions initiative.” The procurement’s chief goal is “obtaining competent and comprehensive project management services through the use of one technical full-time project manager and one half-time supervising technical project manager” to help with the system expansion and to work with the HCA IT team during implementation.
  • The HCA Integrated Records Information Systems (IRIS) is a “complex, enterprisewide Cerner-based electronic health record (EHR) system.” Its functions include claims and billing support that meets all state and federal regulations; client scheduling and registration; lab test management and reporting; clinical documentation management; clinical and operational workflow support; as well as e-prescriptions and e-signatures. Clinical decision support capability, client portals, document scanning and management as well as legal reporting and personal health records are also included. And there’s the necessary privacy and security controls to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards, as well as disaster recovery.
    “EHRs increase the efficiency of care delivery through standardization and organization of documentation, improve quality of care through decision support tools, better coordination of care amongst the care team, improved access to records, better regulatory compliance through rule-based decision-making and alerts, and reduction of potential documentation errors through automation of service-to-billing,” according to the solicitation. It notes that in this instance, an expansion is planned in the county’s Public Health Services Family Health division to enable the program to move from a manual, paper-based environment to the new system.
  • Contractor selected will have “overall responsibility for the planning and execution of all project management tasks associated with this implementation.” This includes the project’s full life cycle. The company chosen must “work closely with vendor and HCA staff on developing strategies and work plans for implementation of solutions for supporting specific workflows,” lead implementation meetings and workgroups; manage vendor relations and performance during implementation; help in “organizational change management related to EHR implementation,” and contribute to “development and implementation of workflows and data flows within the EHR to support operational needs.” The contractor must also work with internal teams and the vendor on project issues.
  • Desirable qualifications include demonstrable experience with county health services delivery and operations, electronic health records, and with HIPAA and related privacy and security controls and protocols.
  • The contract’s precise value is not stated. Its term will be nearly six months, from Jan. 14-June 30. Questions are due by 4 p.m. Wednesday. Bids are due by 4 p.m. Dec. 23.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.