Electronic Behavioral Health Record Implementation in Louisiana - Rev. 12.15.08
Opportunity Announcement / Solicitation for Technical Assistance

The Louisiana Office of Mental Health (OMH) is seeking to contract with an expert consultant to provide the necessary technical assistance for successful procurement and implementation of an electronic behavioral health record (EHR) system in service delivery settings statewide.

The state of Louisiana is in the process of transforming from now separate, non-integrated, centrally managed regional mental health, addictive disorders, and developmental disabilities service programs to locally-operated and integrated human service districts statewide over the next three years.  Implementation of a uniform and viable EHR system to meet the needs of these local governing entities (LGEs) is critical to the success of their future operations and the states’ reporting requirements.

OMH is seeking a technical consultant to assist with identification of an integrated electronic behavioral health record (EHR) system that will serve the clinical record, information management, and performance reporting needs of the emerging LGEs and the state.   The desired system would be modular and include the essential EHR components, including e-prescribing.  The desired system will support contemporary behavioral health standards of care (mainly JCAHO and CARF) and provide data for state performance monitoring and federal reporting (e.g. NOMs-National Outcome Measures, federal URS-Uniform Reporting System and TEDS-Treatment Episode Data Set), as well as provide daily clinical decision support for service providers at the point-of-care.

The ideal EHR system will not only address the needs for community-based behavioral health services, but also be capable of operating enterprise-wide, enabling continuity-of-care with the five state psychiatric hospitals and acute inpatient care settings, and possibly affiliated programs.  The ideal system will also be upwardly scalable to later include integrated physical healthcare operations which are developing in some areas.

The state Offices of Mental Health and Addictive Disorders each now operate custom-built, web-based (MS.Net, SQL server), enterprise-wide information management systems which include some EHR components, but are not presently comprehensive systems nor are they integrated across disability areas.  The consultant will provide the necessary assistance to the state in planning for a transition from these current state systems to a system that is more in keeping with contemporary standards for a behavioral health EHR, and will also help assess the pros and cons of building upon these existing systems to meet the needs of the state in the interim.  In addition, the state also now operates a comprehensive statewide data warehouse/ decision support system of regularly extracted data for use in analysis and state/ local/ federal reporting.  OMH will need to continue to receive regular extracts from the EHR and the system selected will need to be able to address this need.

OMH is seeking to procure an independent consultant who is very knowledgeable about EHRs but is not affiliated with any particular EHR system, and who can objectively assess the various options that have potential to meet contemporary needs of the state.  The ideal contractor will have extensive experience in providing this type of technical assistance and consultation to state and/or local behavioral health agencies.

The consultant’s services and deliverables will likely include but may not be limited to:

  • Provide background information and presentations on the “state of the states” with regard to successful EHR implementations around the country, and identify successful strategies and collaborative endeavors
  • Outline a stepwise and participatory review and selection process, inclusive of a steering committee of state-  and local-level administrators and local providers who will participate in the review and make a selection from among candidate EHR systems
  • Develop and participate in a needs assessment of the desirable features and state-local-national reporting and service delivery needs, and prioritize these features
  •  Develop easy-to-use system selection criteria (e.g., components, functionality, inter-operability, scalability, adaptability, cost…), and a standard rating system that is keyed to the needs of the state and to national standards for use in the review of EHRs. This will be included in the RFP.

Note: The criteria will need to identify systems which satisfy the necessary HIPAA privacy/ security and electronic transaction requirements and assess how closely the systems comply with developing CCHIT standards for electronic behavioral health records.


Note: The commercial system will need to be not only compatible across programs within the OMH system, but capable of sending/receiving critical information to/from other EHRs that may develop outside the system.

  • Participate in system demonstrations designed to acquaint steering committee members with the functionality and desirable features of candidate systems
  • Assess the human and technological infrastructure readiness for successful EHR implementation in LA
  • Assist the state in the writing of a Request for Proposals according to state standards, procedures, and format
  • Participate as a member of the system evaluation team that will identify the system that best meets the needs of the state
  • Assist the state to develop a state implementation plan, including the necessary human resources infrastructure at the state and local level necessary for successful implementation, the necessary change management strategies and training resources, and outline the implementation evaluation process.

Interested parties are hereby invited to submit a resume, references, and a brief proposal of approaches and consulting costs to the following address or email by Friday January 23, 2009:

Randall Lemoine, Ph.D.

Director, Division of Planning, Evaluation, and Information Technology

Office of Mental Health

628 North Fourth Street

Bienville Building, 4th Floor

Baton Rouge, Louisiana  70821

EM: rlemoine@dhh.la.gov

VM: 225-342-8605

OMH will conduct a review process of information received, and it is anticipated OMH will be contacting interested contractors in early February, 2009.

Please note:  Current state of Louisiana requirements limit consulting contracts to a maximum of $50,000 per year unless acquired via an RFP.

Thank you for your interest and response.