Wednesday, January 30, 2013

VA Issues Presolicitation Notice

On January 25th, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a Presolicitation Notice “Data Analysis for Artificial Intelligence” (VA24513R0025) that was issued by the Washington D.C VA Medical Center (DCVAMC). The VISN 5 network’s goal is to apply sound business principles to effectively manage people, communications, technology, and governance.

To achieve these goals, the presolicitation request is based on a System Redesign project funded in 2010 with most of the tasks completed in 2011. The remaining tasks are the focus for this specific presolicitation.

The first specific task that the VA is going to address is data analysis. The VA needs to analyze data by relying on data mining techniques and artificial intelligence to analyze large massive databases, including test analysis.

The expected number of unique patients to be analyzed is 600,000 cases. Five years of CPRS data is available from each patient plus the data requires complex artificial intelligence techniques to do the analysis. Also, data from the VA’s informatics and computing infrastructure needs to be analyzed.  

One area to be analyzed involves examining the clinical visits that could have possibly been avoided through telemedicine or other remote contacts. The analysis needs to identify the factors that could lead to increasing access to appointments for primary or specialist care patients if telemedicine could be used.

Another area to be analyzed includes examining hospice consults notes, determining the severity of illnesses based on claims data and laboratory findings, examining the reasons for readmission to the hospital within 30 days, and examining the trajectory to death for severely ill patients.

After these tasks are completed, the second task is to use the data analysis to facilitate improvement by implementing what is called Lean projects within VADCMC. Different models of improvement have been tried, but the DCVAMC is going to focus on the Lean model. This would entail describing the extent of the problem using patient outcomes, training clinicians and managers on how to achieve improvement within the VA system, and designing four new care protocols to help to avoid wasted efforts that could in the end improve patient outcomes.

The response date for the presolicitation is February 9, 2013. For more information, go to or email Delterine Mickey at