The U.S. Veterans Affairs Department seeks vendor input on a plan to test cloud-based tools as a way to improve communication and collaboration and reduce data breaches at the department's 153 hospitals and 768 clinics and other care sites.
VA wants input on cloud computing
The VA made the announcement on the FedBizOpps.gov website for federal contract notifications.
In the request for information, the VA states that it is looking for a cloud-based collaborative tool to integrate with existing VA systems that could be used in a pilot program with 5,000 participants. If the VA goes ahead with the test and the program proves successful, and if a systemwide rollout is approved, "the cloud solution has the potential to be expanded to a total of 134,000 VA medical personal (17,000 staff physicians, 36,000 residents and 81,000 others)," according to the VA.
Responses must be received by Sept. 9, and the VA notes that there are no guarantees it will go forward with the cloud strategy.
The VA wants to find out whether cloud-based tools could let clinicians—and, eventually, a broader base of individuals within and outside the VA—exchange patient-identifiable clinical information, calendar entries and other clinical messages.
The envisioned cloud-based service also would be used to access and exchange educational materials, published and unpublished research and policy information.
Responses to the request for information should include "cost estimates for services initiation, customization and establishment of an authentication model which allows VA to control the authentication process and will also integrate with existing on-premises and potential Web-based applications (e.g., Microsoft e-mail, calendar and documents)."
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