Fresh off of the failure of the joint Department of Defense/Department of Veterans’ Affairs electronic health record program, the Pentagon is preparing an $11 billion contract to overhaul its own electronic health records. This would be the biggest federal IT job since last fall’s HealthCare.gov rollout. Many outside observers are concerned that this could become another failed effort The Chief Information Officer at the Office of Management and Budget has warned that a giant problem-solving contract to a single vendor for several years is a common “boondogglish characteristic” of IT procurement that typically ends in failure, Politico.com reported. People familiar with the defense contract stressed the industry’s readiness to take it on. HealthCare.gov was a unique project bedeviled by a complex mixture of political strife, balkanized vendors, a short time frame and a customized, first-of-its-kind tech system, they said. Andy Maner, managing partner of IBM U.S. Federal, plans to bid on the contract and to put its Watson supercomputer to use solving health care problems for the DOD project. The Pentagon hopes to issue the contract by early summer 2015, rolling out the health records system region by region in 2016 with a goal to finish by 2023.

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