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Indian Health Service Seeks Input on Modernization Plan

Amid a significant multiyear modernization effort, the Indian Health Service is looking to industry for input regarding the formulation of a new and updated strategic plan, according to a request for information released Jan. 13.

The Indian Health Service, located within the Health and Human Services Department, provides federal health services to approximately 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives annually. In the past year, the agency began a major health care modernization in a quest to update a patient administrative information system that first debuted in 1969. According to the RFI, the agency’s current IT work is guided by an IT strategic planning document that dates back to 2016, and a broader “successor plan” is needed to guide IT and health IT acquisitions. The new plan would guide the agency for the next “three to five years.”

“The IHS [IT Strategic Plan] should be a broad plan that serves as a roadmap for IT programs and staff in within all functions of the organization and help the agency achieve greater coordination in effort, expenditures, and technology,” the RFI states.

Beyond technology, the plan should help synthesize guidance from administration directives and policies, presidential management objectives, HHS secretary priorities and the HHS IT strategic plan, the Indian Health Service director’s priorities, Office of Management and Budget mandates and guidance from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

“A well-defined IT strategy is essential at this juncture as the IHS seeks to pursue a path of IT Modernization marking a ‘generational’ shift in technology resources to support the IHS’ 2019-2023 Strategic Goals,” according to the RFI’s accompanying performance work statement.

The work statement also outlines three goals: To ensure that comprehensive, culturally appropriate personal and public health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people; to promote excellence and quality through innovation of the Indian health system into an optimally performing organization; and to strengthen IHS program management and operations.

Responses are due by 4 p.m. Jan. 20.

source: NextGov