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SwRI wins contract to redesign veterans' pharmacy system

San Antonio -- January 9, 2004 -- The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has awarded Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) a $3.9 million contract as the first phase of an overhaul of the VHA's pharmacy information system for serving inpatient and outpatient veterans.

This one-year contract is part of a five-year effort designed to re-engineer and rebuild the VHA's pharmacy software and processes to serve the needs of veterans throughout the VHA system.

"The first phase of the project will be the beginning step in the development of an open system with a leading-edge, open-architecture design that will facilitate additional changes to the pharmacy system in the future," said Dr. Harvey Watson, program manager within the Automation and Data Systems Division.

Ewan Grantham, a SwRI senior research analyst, said the project will be accomplished in several phases over the next five years. First, SwRI software engineers will determine requirements and characterize new business rules and processes that affect different types of pharmacy operations and their interactions at VHA facilities. The next phases will include designing, developing and testing the new pharmacy system 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.

Dr. Aaron DeWispelare, director of the Medical Systems Department at SwRI, explained, "We're eager to help the VHA move forward in delivering medications more effectively and efficiently, and at the same time having a more robust platform for future growth. This work will complement our current work to support our veterans by providing software to re-engineer and upgrade the appointment and resource scheduling at VHA facilities throughout the United States."

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

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