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SwRI wins contract to provide software for veterans' health care

San Antonio, Texas  — October 15, 2002 — The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has awarded Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) a $21.9 million contract to design, build, and test new software for scheduling services at the nation's 699 VHA medical facilities.

The 3.5-year contract is part of a modernization program to be carried out under VHA's Veterans Health Information System and Technology Architecture (VISTA). The new software will provide functionality for improved patient and resource scheduling.

"This contract will result in streamlined scheduling and delivery of health care services for veterans by providing software that has been designed for today's VHA medical communities," said Aaron DeWispelare, director of the Medical Systems Department of the Institute's Automation and Data Systems Division.

DeWispelare said the project will be accomplished in several phases over the next three years. First, SwRI software engineers will document new business rules and processes that affect scheduling activity at VHA facilities. The next phase includes designing, developing, and testing a new scheduling system that fits those rules and processes for the VHA. The project will use a modified version of the Rational Unified Process, an incremental and iterative approach to designing and building object-oriented architectures and software. The new system will be designed, built, and tested in accordance with the VHA's information technology and software development standards. The new scheduling software will be integrated into the VISTA system.

Once laboratory testing is completed and the test report is reviewed and approved by the Veterans Integrated Systems Network (VISN) and a steering committee by late 2004, alpha testing will take place at two selected sites. The next phase, which continues until mid-2005, will extend beta testing to 20 additional VHA facilities. The final step will be to initiate fielding of the new system to other sites across the country.

For more information contact Joe Fohn, Communications, (210) 522-4630, Fax (210) 522-3547, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510.

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