Letter to IHS in re: Resource and Patient Management

August 25, 2017

Michael D. Weahkee
Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director
Indian Health Service
Mail Stop: 08E86
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Dear Rear Admiral Weahkee:

On behalf of the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH), which represents over forty urban Indian health programs (UIHPs) across the nation which provide high-quality, culturally-competent health care to urban Indians, I write to you in regards to the possible change from RPMS to another system.

First and foremost, if IHS is truly considering changing EHR systems, IHS should first provide multiple consultations and confer sessions both telephonically and in-person with demonstrations on how the system would work, what makes this system the best next step for IHS, and explain the due diligence that IHS has done on this system to get to that decision.

It is no secret that the RPMS system is broken. One of the major reasons this system is broken is the lack of urgency with timely updates. IHS has been indicating the implementation would be 10 years, and with technology changing daily, the transition and ability to maintain updates are essential. Would RPMS continue with updates until the new system is running well? What does the transition plan look like? These steps should be clearly laid out to provide the IHS system with a strategic plan that they feel comfortable with.

In regards to update issues with RPMS, the EHR system chosen should be held responsible for keeping the application up-to-date and provider for future capability for Microsoft Windows upgrades for smooth transition.

There should be real time reporting mechanisms and collection of data for immediate program developing not only for health care data but also financial data. UIHPs have also had issues with meeting the meaningful use requirement because of delays with updates and keeping up with the market, which should be taken into consideration.

Thank you for trying to improve the broken EHR system. Please do not hesitate to contact Francys Crevier, Executive Director, at (202) 544-0344 / FCrevier@ncuih.org if you have any questions.

Sincerely,


Ashley Tuomi
President
National Council of Urban Indian Health