E-health: Veterans' counselling service eyes $1 million systems upgrade

The government's PCEHR initiative means that the Veterans Families Counselling Service needs a new information management system

The Department of Veterans' Affairs is seeking a replacement for the aging information management system used by the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).

There are 15 VVCS Centres, and in 2010-11 the centres co-ordinated some 60,000 counselling sessions and group programs involving some 4000 individuals

The current VVCS Management Information System is used to store data on clients and counselling services as well as funding and expenditure. The department wants to replace the 10-year-old VMIS, written in Delphi, with a modern system able to interface with the government's Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

Tender documents issued by the department note that over the last three to four years the system has fallen short of meeting VVCS's business needs and is not able to fully take advantage of the increased uptake technologies such as email and mobile devices. The system should "decreases reliance on ‘paper’ as the default method of data storage and communication," tender documents note.

The new system must be Web-based and able to interface with the Health Identifier Service created as part of the PCEHR initiative and allow VVCS staff to interact with patients' e-health records.

The department is seeking a COTS system and the contract will include three years of support and maintenance. The department is eyeing an upper limit of $1 million for the initial purchase, implementation and training, with an intention of having the new system up and running by the end of June 2013.

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