The New Zealand Defence Force last week put a tender for a patient management system on hold.
It withdrew the tender, which was issued on June 4, citing a clause in the tender documents and the tender was reissued this week. While the cancelled tender was an RFT (request for tender), the new tender will be carried out in the more usual ROI (registration of interest) followed by RFP (request for proposal) form.
The original tender called for a system which will provide an individual record for each of the force’s 10,000 staff and specified that it must be an off-the-shelf product, with at least one existing New Zealand reference site.
The army, navy and air force will all require their own version of the system and its associated database for use overseas.
This means records of personnel serving overseas will be re-synchronised with the main New Zealand-based system when they return.
An informed industry source believed the halt was due to procedural issues. “They’re changing slightly the way they’re doing it.”
A notice from the Defence Force to tenderers last week confirmed procedure was the issue: the approach has been changed from an RFT (request for tender) to the ROI, followed by RFP (request for proposal) tender model.
The NZDF embarked on a review of its medical information systems last year after an Audit Office report noted there were shortcomings in existing systems, especially relating to vaccination status, recall programmes and treatment received by personnel deployed overseas.
Following the Audit Office report, PricewaterhouseCoopers reviewed the force’s medical information systems and the force embarked on the DMIS (defence medical information systems) project, which will replace existing systems.
Defence force CIO Ron Hooton has likened the DMIS to a giant GP practice for the force. The system chosen will need to work with other recent defence force IT projects, such as the military messaging system to be supplied by Fujitsu and the Citrix-based Microsoft Office 2003 rollout.
The cancelled tender documents stated that the patient management system must be able to form interfaces with SQL Server objects to allow data to be exchanged between itself and other defence force systems (such as its Atlas Human Resources and SAP financials and logistics) via the SDL (shared data layer), the force’s common data storage area.
The documents also specified that it will need to be integrated with disk-level encryption products used in defence force laptops.
Expressions of interest in the new tender are due on July 9 and the shortlist of candidates who will be asked to submit an RFP is to be finalised by July 20.