The Food and Drug Administration is looking for a "large electronic medical record system" to conduct research about adverse drug reactions.
The FDA's Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Division will use the EHR to look into the "safety and surveillance of FDA regulated products," according to the request for quote the agency posted earlier this week. Specifically, researchers will analyze VA data to look for adverse side effects from medications. It will use the EHR to develop "novel data mining and data visualization" to apply to the data.
Right now, those data exist in different versions of VistA, the VA's home-grown EHR.
But they might eventually exist elsewhere. Since announcing almost a year ago it would switch to a Cerner EHR, the VA has been mired in contract delays. This week, several House Democrats asked the VA to investigate whether recent delays were due to unofficial presidential advisers getting involved in the negotiations.
The lawmakers were concerned specifically with the VA's current level of interoperability, which they and the GAO said is lacking. Should the contract go through, the VA would eventually use the same EHR system as the Defense Department.