May 05, 2023

Bloomberg Law Quotes Dismas Locaria on the Department of Veteran Affairs' Decision to Halt Additional Rollouts of the Electronic Health Records Modernization Project

2 min

On May 5, 2023, Dismas Locaria was quoted in Bloomberg Law regarding the Department of Veteran Affairs' decision to halt additional rollouts of the Electronic Health Records Modernization Project.

According to the article, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) decision to halt implementation of its highly touted electronic health records system showcases the risks that agencies face in tapping preexisting commercial products to solve unique government challenges. The alternative can be just as fraught with risk, according to contracting experts.

“It’s kind of that trade-off, right? Do you want to own it or do you need it cost effectively and quickly,” said Locaria.  “That’s a big debate right now in government.”

The predicament highlights a drawback to buying off-the-shelf commercial technology that’s wholly owned by the vendors. That route is often cheaper and faster to deploy, but if implementation fails and the contractor is taken off the project, the system goes away with the vendor.

For contractors, custom-made systems don’t jibe with growing commercial trends of subscription-style-as-a-service business models to maintain reliable income while holding on to valuable IP rights. Changing that could shake up the way contractors do business or shrink the vendor pool agencies can pick from.

And as more and more companies switch to the as-a-service model, fewer companies are looking to custom-build a system or tech for a government agency—without a big incentive.

“I think that most contractors, if the money’s right, they’ll do whatever the government wants,” Locaria said. “But some of the larger companies, I think they’ll do less of the open source because they want to leverage their existing technology.”

Click here to access the article.