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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Resource Center for Health IT (NRC)

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ATTACHMENT 5

AHRQ National Resource Center for Health Information Technology Statement of Work (SOW)

Contents

A. Background Information
B. AHRQ's Health IT Initiative
C. Specific Requirements
   Domain I
   Domain II
   Domain III
   Domain IV
Appendices
Appendix A: Web site deployment checklist
Appendix B: HHS IT Systems Security and Privacy Information
Appendix C: AHRQ Application and System Development Requirements
Web Product and Web Site Development Guidelines
HHS Standards, Guidelines & Guidance by Category
AHRQ Linking Policy
Web Acessibility Checklist

A. Background Information

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is soliciting written proposals for master task order contracts to support the Agency's Health IT portfolio by maintaining, serving as, and supporting the AHRQ National Resource Center for Health Information Technology (NRC) and its associated activities.

In 2004, AHRQ established a single external NRC and a web site (healthit.ahrq.gov) to support its efforts to advance the goals of the HHS and AHRQ for transforming health care through the best and most effective use of health IT. The NRC supports the AHRQ health IT program by serving as a central national source of information and assistance to help the nation embrace the power and efficiency of health information technology.

In 2006, in recognition of the broader usefulness of the resources available on the NRC-supported website and the demand from the field for research findings and best practices, AHRQ made the NRC website publicly available. In addition to supporting this web presence, under direction from AHRQ, the NRC continues to provide direct technical assistance and consulting services to the Agency's grantees, synthesizes information from literature and grantees to develop tools and information resources and, in collaboration with the AHRQ Office of Communications and Knowledge Transfer (OCKT), plans and executes marketing activities to effectively disseminate the program's findings and activities. The NRC provides support to the Agency in designing and maintaining the public face of the AHRQ health IT program. Over the past four years, under the direction of AHRQ, the NRC has amassed a health IT resource library of nearly 10,000 documents, tools, presentations and other resources and maintained a website with nearly 175,000 unique visitors downloading over 150,000 resources from the site in FY 2008. The website is designed to meet AHRQ's goals of supporting the continuum of health care settings, clinicians, systems, and consumers - large and small, urban, rural and frontier.

In addition, the NRC under direction from AHRQ serves as the link between the health care community at large and the researchers and experts who are on the front lines of health IT. As the central repository for lessons learned from AHRQ's Health IT initiative, the website and NRC staff encourage effective use of health IT by disseminating the latest tools, best practices, and research results. By providing direct technical assistance to AHRQ's health IT projects and supporting effective dissemination of lessons learned, the NRC is supporting AHRQ in maximizing the benefit of the Agency's investment in health IT.

In addition to supporting AHRQ grantees, under direction of AHRQ staff, the NRC supports other federal partners' health IIT program initiatives with a variety of services. For example, the Health Services Research Administration (HRSA) is partnering with AHRQ to leverage the NRC, its web architecture, and technical assistance resources to support its grantees. Services provided by the NRC include technical assistance and consultative support, serving as a repository for best practice assimilation and diffusion; helping develop, maintain and export executable knowledge for clinicians and patients; offering expert health IT support for providers and communities; facilitating communication and sharing of ideas among grantees; performing and sponsoring educational activities; and developing and disseminating tools to help providers and organizations utilize health IT to improve patient safety and quality of care in their communities.

Through the NRC, the AHRQ Health IT program gains feedback on its priorities and supports development of knowledge resources to advance the field of health IT from experts in the field, coordinates statewide and regional health IT data interoperability demonstration projects, and establishes various communities of practice, workgroups, expert panels, and other collaborative efforts inside and outside of the government.

The NRC under direction from AHRQ also facilitates collaboration with other federal, state, and private-efforts projects involved in health IT. The AHRQ Health IT Program envisions that the next phase of activities for the NRC will focus on driving use and satisfaction of the NRC web presence and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of developing, synthesizing, and disseminating information for the program's diverse stakeholders, including researchers, implementers and decision-makers.

B. AHRQ's Health IT Initiative

Established in 2004, the mission of the AHRQ Health IT Program purpose is to develop and disseminate evidence about how health information technology can be used to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The program advances health IT research by creating, synthesizing and disseminating knowledge. Health care providers, payers, and regulators use the knowledge our research generates to directly improve the quality and safety of health care. The program's three strategic focus areas include: (1) Health IT to improve health care decision-making; (2) Health IT to support patient-centered care; and (3) Health IT to improve the quality and safety of medication management.

To address this mission, AHRQ has invested over $260 million in contracts and grants and collaborative agreements to over 150 communities, hospitals, providers, and health care systems These projects constitute a real-world laboratory for examining health IT at work, and its role in improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of healthcare.

Some key program activities to date include:

  • Establishing and growing a National Resource Center for Health IT (www.healthit.ahrq.gov) with funding totaling $24M to provide technical assistance and other services to program grantees, to synthesize emerging lessons, best practices, and research findings, and to develop and disseminate tools and other information resources on the public website.
  • Awarding over 100 grants and collaborative agreements totaling over $130 million to promote access to health IT by helping primarily small and rural communities, hospitals, providers, and health care systems plan, implement, and demonstrate the value of health IT.
  • Awarding "State and Regional Demonstrations in Health Information Technology" contracts totaling $30 million to six states to develop statewide and regional networks allowing diverse healthcare stakeholder to electronically exchange health information.
  • Awarding 75 grants totaling $85M on improving ambulatory care through the use of health IT including (1) Using health IT to assist clinicians, practices and systems to measure the quality and safety of care in ambulatory care settings; (2) Using of health IT to improve outcomes through more effective clinical decision support, medication management, or care delivery; and (3) Using health IT to create or enhance patient-centered care.
  • Awarding 12 grants totaling $12M on the use of health IT in more effective management of complex patients.
  • Awarded two contracts totaling $5M focused on the development, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of best practices using clinical decision support (CDS).
  • Funding, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), five pilot projects that implemented and tested initial electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) standards proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • Funding, in conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, $26 million to fund the Health Information Privacy and Security Collaboration (HISPC) to examine how health care organizations and public agencies currently protect the privacy and security of health information.
  • Awarded the "Technical Assistance for Health IT and Health Information Exchange (HIE) in Medicaid and SCHIP" contract. This contract supports AHRQ's work with State Medicaid agencies by providing them with assistance in the areas of evaluating, implementing and assessing the value of health IT and HIE, and developing tools needed for effective communication, collaboration, information sharing, and knowledge management for State Medicaid agencies. The TA effort also included development and maintenance of a Medicaid specific section of the AHRQ NRC for Health IT website.

C. Specific Requirements

To improve, serve as, and support the NRC, AHRQ requires contract support in four distinct Domain areas:

  1. Support for Health IT Program Management, Guidance, Assessment & Planning.
  2. Health IT Technical Assistance, Content Development, Program Related Projects & Studies.
  3. Health IT Dissemination, Communication and Marketing.
  4. Health IT Portal Infrastructure Management & Website Design & Usability Support.

AHRQ anticipates awarding approximately 3-6 contracts per domain with no more than 10 contracts per domain. However, this is an estimate only. AHRQ reserves the right to award more or fewer contracts per Domain area.

The NRC contract will be a one-year base contract with 4 option years.

Teaming of contractors is permitted, although AHRQ encourages contractors to submit proposals independently.

Applicants are permitted to compete in as few as one and as many as four Domains. Contractors will compete for future task orders in their respective domains.

Through the issuance of task orders, AHRQ expects to award approximately $25 million, contingent on available funds, over the course of the one year base and four option year periods, with the potential of $50 million if the program expands and gains federal partners. The ceiling for this series of master task order contracts has been set at $75 million.

A discussion of the roles and representative work requirements of each of the four Domains is provided as follows.

Domain I.

SUPPORT FOR HEALTH IT PROGRAM MANAGEMENT, GUIDANCE, ASSESSMENT & PLANNING

By taking a Master Task Order approach with multiple domains, AHRQ seeks to recruit contractors with "best of breed" expertise in each of the four domain areas. AHRQ also recognizes that this approach will require particular attention to coordination, tracking, and planning across domains.

A limited number of contractors in the Program Management Domain will perform a wide-range of activities to support AHRQ staff in managing, planning, coordinating and implementing the NRC. Contractors in the Program Management domain will work closely with AHRQ staff to support them in assuring coordination of NRC activities and ensuring the high quality completion of NRC tasks — across domains — on time and budget.

Contractors in the Program Management Domain will serve as a key information link between AHRQ staff, contractors in the other Domains, and the Agency's grantees themselves. In addition, contractors in this Domain will hold responsibility for assisting AHRQ in organizing and gaining feedback from an NRC Steering Committee, organizing and participating in meetings and events, and conducting some programmatic evaluations.

Representative Program Management, Guidance, Assessment and Planning functions to be performed by contractors in Domain 1 include (but are not limited to):

Assist AHRQ staff by:

  • Reviewing, assessing, and delivering reports on task planning, scheduling, resource allocations, deliverables status, and other programmatic execution issues across the Domains.
  • Assisting with coordination and collaboration of activities across the Domains to ensure synergy and effectiveness of cross-domain Task Order efforts.
  • Arranging, coordinating and participating in programmatic monthly meetings across all Domain activities to review performance and accomplishments, status of project plan tasks and deliverables, adherence to planned schedules, resource and budget allocations, and quality of efforts.
  • As needed, assist in the preparation of earned-value management measures and Microsoft Project reports, and identification of cross-Domain problems and issues.
  • Identifying program problems and suggest alternative corrective actions which might be needed.
  • Preparing and delivering summary monthly performance management and assessment documents including Earned Value Management reports for projects across Domain activities.
  • Identifying and proposing possible new initiatives, tasks, and approaches to improve the NRC's effectiveness in meeting the goals and objectives of the NRC and the AHRQ Health IT portfolio.
  • Tracking and reporting on portfolio resource and budget allocations, quality of efforts, and PART (Program Assessment Rating Tool) measures.
  • Serving as a central link between AHRQ, Technical Assistance Domain Contractors and the various health IT grantees, projects and contract initiatives.
  • Synthesizing, assessing and reporting on project and grantee performance against objectives. This may include reviewing health IT grantee and other health IT project progress reports submitted to the government and tracking progress of projects against the research agenda and plan and conducting site visits to the grantees and other projects as necessary to monitor progress. While working closely with AHRQ project officers, identify areas where modifications may be needed to the projects as initially outlined and approved. Provide a monthly report to AHRQ of any recommendations to modify projects.
  • Organizing and managing meetings with and feedback from a NRC Steering Committee to provide guidance and expertise in improving the effectiveness of the NRC and its services.
  • Planning for and facilitating participation of the AHRQ Health IT program and its grantees in the annual AHRQ meeting and other approved meetings and conferences.
  • Performing an annual assessment and evaluation of the NRC effectiveness in meeting its tasks, goals and objectives.
  • Performing or arranging for other project, program, and portfolio evaluations.
  • Providing monthly and annual summary review reports detailing progress and accomplishments of health IT grants, contracts, and projects to the TOO to facilitate compliance with AHRQ grants monitoring and reporting requirements.
  • Monitoring the range of issues raised by the health IT grantees and projects and lessons learned from their requests to the NRC for support. Provide a monthly report of issues and lessons learned to AHRQ.

Domain II.

HEALTH IT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, CONTENT DEVELOPMENT, PROGRAM RELATED PROJECTS & STUDIES

Contractors in the Health IT Technical Assistance, Content Development, and Program Related Projects & Studies Domain 2 will support assigned AHRQ Project Officers by serving as additional important points of interaction with the AHRQ Health IT Program's grantees, State and Regional Demonstration projects, and other health IT project initiatives sponsored by AHRQ, HHS, and other government agencies, partners and stakeholders. AHRQ's Health IT Program currently has approximately 75 active grants and other projects. Technical assistance requests from the Agency may vary based on available funding and interest from organizations collaborating with AHRQ.

In addition, contractors in this Domain will be tasked to develop tools and information resources for public dissemination through the NRC website and other channels. Contractors in this Domain will also be tasked to work on program-related special projects and studies that require health IT expertise.

Representative Technical Assistance functions for Domain 2 to be performed by contractors may include (but are not limited to):

  • Providing direct individual and group technical assistance to health IT grantees, State and Regional Demonstration projects, and other health IT project initiatives sponsored by AHRQ, HHS, and other government agencies, partners and stakeholders.
  • Providing a wide-range of technical assistance and support for: (1) up to 125 grants and other health IT projects during the first year of the contract; (2) up to a total of 150 grants and projects during the second year [option year 1] of the contract (including those carried over from the first year); (3) up to a total of 165 grants and projects during the third year of the contract [option year 2] (including those carried over from the second year); (4) up to a total of 180 grants and projects during the fourth year of the contract [option year 3] (including those carried over from the third year); and (5) up to a total of 200 grants and projects during the fifth year of the contract [option year 4] (including those carried over from the fourth year). These yearly estimates may vary based on available health IT funding and interest from AHRQ and other organizations collaborating with AHRQ on various health IT initiatives.
  • Assessing critical needs of health IT grantees and other health IT project initiatives for receiving technical assistance. Providing reports detailing the results of needs assessments of all the health IT grantees and projects that include an execution plan specifying the resources, staff, priorities, tasks, deliverables and timelines to provide needed technical assistance to the health IT grantees and projects. The report shall include a prioritized list of the specific technical, consultative or other resources likely to be of greatest value in supporting each of the health IT grantees and other project initiatives. Semi-annually performing updated needs assessment of the health IT grantees and other projects in the health IT portfolio, providing a report of the updated needs assessment including support, resource and staffing recommendations.
  • Developing criteria and a plan to prioritize resource support to be provided to the health IT grantees and other health IT project initiatives.
  • Contractors in this Domain should be prepared to easily scale their resources and staff during the contract period, as may be required to support additional or fewer health IT grantees and projects.
  • Identifying and providing health IT experts from the healthcare industry, the research community and other sources, to perform site visits and consulting services with grantees and projects, and to assist grantees, providers and communities to achieve health IT project successes.
  • Identifying, conducting, preparing and delivering educational activities, teleconferences and webinars to assist health IT grantees and projects.
  • Providing reports of issues encountered by the health IT grantees and projects and suggestions for future technical assistance initiatives.
  • Monitoring the range of issues raised by the health IT grantees and projects and lessons learned from their requests to the NRC for support. Providing a monthly report of issues and lessons learned to AHRQ.
  • Serving as an important link between AHRQ and its many health IT grantees and partners.
  • Identifying opportunities for collaboration and sharing of ideas, approaches, best practices and lessons learned across the various AHRQ health IT RFA, PA, and FOA grantees and contractors, and other health IT project initiatives, sponsored by federal, public and private stakeholders and partners. Coordinating and facilitating identified common activities and interests across the health IT grantees and projects, where cost-effective.
  • Providing specialized expertise and assistance in rural health IT technical issues.
  • P
  • roviding specialized expertise and assistance in research methods, including project design, instrument selection, data collection, behavioral and social research methods, methods for addressing issues raised by institutional review boards (including protection of the privacy and confidentiality of patient-level research data, and dissemination and sustainability strategies
  • Providing assistance in use of health information exchanges, IT networks, connectivity, hardware, software, interoperability and standards.
  • Providing useful and sound design, methodology, planning, implementation strategies, and evaluation approaches to enhance and expand the efforts outlined in health IT grantees and projects approved proposals.
  • Providing tools (created from the AHRQ health IT grants and other health IT projects, or already available from the field and proven successful) to help other providers and organizations utilize health IT to improve patient safety and quality of care in their communities.
  • Designing and offering special, limited technical assistance. engagements, each lasting 1-2 days, to meet the needs of regional AHRQ partners, stakeholders and others in their health IT efforts.
  • Reviewing grantee final reports and findings and providing a summary of key findings and lessons learned.
  • Documenting lessons learned and best practices identified while providing technical assistance.

Representative Content Development functions for Domain 2 to be performed by contractors may include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing, reviewing, maintaining and managing content for the NRC website, portal, and knowledge library, and related print materials and publications that may include, but not be limited to: Lessons Learned, Best Practices, Implementation Stories, Tools, Emerging Lessons, Issue Papers, and Key topics.
  • Maintaining key findings, publications, and annual performance information for each health IT grant and project, in a searchable database available on the NRC website.
  • Setting-up and facilitating forums, discussion groups, and collaborative virtual communities, social networking and peer-peer capabilities for Program grantees and broader audiences.
  • Selecting, refining and developing data collection instruments and measurement tools which are valid, reliable, user-friendly and cost-effective.
  • Assisting with the maintenance on the health IT website for each health IT grant and project funded by AHRQ the following types of information: (1) key findings; (2) significant methodological changes, reasons for changes and impacts of changes; (3) significant problems and alerts; (4) actual and proposed resolutions of problems; (5) data sources used; (6) study designs and methods used; (7) populations targeted/studied; (8) study settings; (9) other key study variables; (10)publications information (including if submitted or accepted, journal name, dates etc.); (11) presentations; (13) tools and products; (14) impacts; (15) collaborations and partnerships and purposes of the collaborations and partnerships; (16) lessons learned; and (17) accomplishments.
  • Ensuring that all health IT website content prepared for AHRQ is reviewed for quality control and editorial accuracy and adheres to all federal privacy, 508 accessibility, disclosure, copyright and other web publishing rules and regulations prior to submission for posting, and ensuring that all health IT web-content is refreshed and updated on a timely basis.
  • Providing information and reports, and developing and maintaining databases, to support AHRQ in respond easily and quickly to Congressional and others' queries about the AHRQ health IT portfolio grants and projects.
  • Preparing and distributing newsletters and listserv messages and using other approaches to foster collaboration and share health IT information and ideas among the health IT grantees, partners, and the public.
  • Identifying and proposing innovative, creative health IT projects and initiatives to AHRQ, including research studies, implementation projects, and collaborations in areas such as Health Information Exchange (HIE), Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), Electronic Medical / Health Records, Electronic Prescribing, Health IT in Small and Rural Communities, Ambulatory Health IT issues, Health IT Privacy and Security, Personal Health Records, Medicaid health IT adoption, health IT standards, Clinical Decision Making, in order to meet Agency objectives.

Representative Health IT Portfolio Evaluation functions for Domain 2 to be performed by contractors may include (but are not limited to):

  • Performing assessments and evaluations of AHRQ Health IT Portfolio activities including reporting on AHRQ Health IT Portfolio PART (Program Assessment Rating Tool) measures.

Representative Program Related Projects & Studies functions for Domain 2 to be performed by contractors may include (but are not limited to):

  • Responding to ad-hoc requests for specialized health IT studies and reports.
  • Providing broad, ongoing environmental scans of health IT program areas as directed by AHRQ.
  • Preparing plans for suggested approaches, studies, tools, and services.
  • Designing and conducting feasibility and pilot studies to test approaches and concepts.
  • Consulting with and engaging available health IT experts through expert meetings, conferences and workshops.
  • Convening focus groups of persons knowledgeable about identified problems or areas and conducting formative research.
  • Proposing and conducting health IT program evaluation studies.
  • Conducting literature reviews.
  • Assisting with OMB clearance process, including drafting project documentation.

Contractors under this Domain will also be required to perform Program Management functions. They will be expected to responsible for such activities as listed below and other similar tasks.

  • Coordinate and meet periodically with AHRQ staff and Domain 1 Resource Center Program Management contractors regarding project plan execution status, deliverables, schedules, performance, earned value management metrics and monthly results, and resolution of any cross-Domain issues.
  • Discuss and obtain approval for a project work plan, including process, strategy, resources and staff to be provided, time line for performing the work, deliverables, budget and expense plan, strategy, format for the monthly progress report, and other contract Domain program management execution issues.
  • Provide monthly progress reports of Domain activities to AHRQ. Each monthly report should: (1) document and summarize the contractor's progress toward completing project milestones and tasks; (2) provide the status, accomplishments, expenditures, and a brief description of all ongoing assigned tasks and efforts, and include details about problems encountered and how they are being dealt with, as well as explanations for any tasks that are behind schedule; (3) discuss and summarize all Domain activities during the prior month; (4) describe anticipated challenges/problems, and describe a plan for future activities; (5) provide current and proposed expenditures relative to original schedule and budget; (6) attach updated Microsoft Project reports and update the AHRQ Microsoft Project Server with all tasks, resources, resource utilization by task, costs by resources and tasks, timelines and milestones, earned-value-management (EVM) reports, and other meaningful project management and expense information. Also, each monthly report shall include a summary discussion, and descriptions of all consultant visits and findings and all technical assistance provided.
  • Prepare a final report at the conclusion of any Task Orders. The final report as outlined in the Task Order will likely require the contractor to summarize the full Task Order and contract experience, including accomplishments, assessment of barriers/challenges encountered, and recommendations to the Agency on ways to sustain and improve activities and process, capabilities and services. Also, the final report shall include a description of all on-going initiatives and projects which will require continued support into option years, and a discussion of the specific support requirements for initiatives and projects in the option years.

Domain III.

HEALTH IT COMMUNICATIONS, DISSEMINATION, AND MARKETING

Contractors in the Health IT Communications, Dissemination and Marketing Domain 3 will provide technical assistance to grantees and projects, prepare content for the NRC website and other program media, evaluate the Health IT portfolio, and perform other program related projects and studies.

Contractors will be required to perform Planning and Coordination functions for Domain 3 such as those listed below and other similar activities:

  • Under direction from the AHRQ TOO, work with AHRQ's Office of Communications and Knowledge Transfer (OCKT) to conceptualize, develop, plan, implement, and evaluate effective communications, awareness, education, program marketing and knowledge transfer and dissemination tasks to meet the health IT program goals and objectives.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan for a successful communications, awareness, education, and/or knowledge transfer, utilizing the professional skills and experience described above to: identify the most appropriate target audiences, determine the best evidence-based methods of reaching them and effecting change, and utilize both conventional and innovative communications strategies and vehicles in support of the health IT Program goals and objectives
  • .

Contractors will be required to perform Translation and Dissemination functions for Domain 3 such as those listed below and other similar activities:

  • Synthesize and translate research from health IT grantees and other health IT projects into practical use, developing tools and products that aid dissemination, implementation, and adoption efforts, sharing results among health IT grantees and others.
  • Develop, collect, synthesize, maintain, and export executable knowledge of health IT best practices and lessons learned for use by other health IT grantees, contractors, and the broader community.
  • Follow official AHRQ Publishing and Communications Guidelines when developing documents for print or electronic publication.
  • Coordinate with OCKT on official HHS clearance for all published documents, including print and electronic publications.
  • Work with OCKT to disseminate findings, implementation results and adoption strategies to the health IT community end-users in useful form, providing guidance or lessons learned from implementation efforts, and devising adoption strategies that can be readily accepted and are likely to be sustained. Examples may include issue papers, briefs, implementation stories, podcasts, Webinars, etc.
  • Develop and provide publications or products from all AHRQ National Resource Center task order activities and disseminate these to the field.
  • Translate materials for consumers and other target audiences. Any such publications shall be submitted to the TOO for approval and/or proper clearances.

Representative Partnership Development functions for Domain 3 to be performed by contractors may include (but are not limited to):

  • Work with OCKT to develop effective partnerships with professional and advocacy groups, private industry, and other governmental agencies in support of the health IT Program goals and objectives.

Contractors will be required to perform Evaluation functions for Domain 3 such as those listed below and other similar activities:

  • Incorporate evaluation methodology into the project and propose additional evaluation and communications avenues that may need to be pursued.
  • Evaluate communications, dissemination, and marketing activities based on metrics from Web site visits and page views, links from stakeholder organizations to Web site, news coverage of AHRQ health IT projects, increase in subscribers to AHRQ health IT newsletter, and by other appropriate metrics.

Contractors under this Domain will also be required to perform Program Management functions. They will be expected to responsible for such activities as listed below and other similar tasks.

  • Coordinate and meet periodically with AHRQ staff and Domain 1 Resource Center Program Management contractors regarding project plan execution status, deliverables, schedules, performance, earned value management metrics and monthly results, and resolution of any cross-Domain issues.
  • Discuss and obtain approval for a project work plan, including process, strategy, resources and staff to be provided, time line for performing the work, deliverables, budget and expense plan, strategy, format for the monthly progress report, and other contract Domain program management execution issues.
  • Provide monthly progress reports of Domain activities to AHRQ. Each monthly report should: (1) document and summarize the contractor's progress toward completing project milestones and tasks; (2) provide the status, accomplishments, expenditures, and a brief description of all ongoing assigned tasks and efforts, and include details about problems encountered and how they are being dealt with, as well as explanations for any tasks that are behind schedule; (3) discuss and summarize all Domain activities during the prior month; (4) describe anticipated challenges/problems, and describe a plan for future activities; (5) provide current and proposed expenditures relative to original schedule and budget; (6) attach updated Microsoft Project reports and update the AHRQ Microsoft Project Server with all tasks, resources, resource utilization by task, costs by resources and tasks, timelines and milestones, earned-value-management (EVM) reports, and other meaningful project management and expense information. Also, each monthly report shall include a summary discussion, and descriptions of all consultant visits and findings and all technical assistance provided.
  • Prepare a final report at the conclusion of any Task Orders. The final report as outlined in the Task Order will likely require the contractor to summarize the full Task Order and contract experience, including accomplishments, assessment of barriers/challenges encountered, and recommendations to the Agency on ways to sustain and improve activities and process, capabilities and services. Also, the final report shall include a description of all on-going initiatives and projects which will require continued support into option years, and a discussion of the specific support requirements for initiatives and projects in the option years.

Domain IV.

HEALTH IT PORTAL INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT & WEBSITE DESIGN/USABILITY SUPPORT

Contractors in the Health IT Portal Infrastructure Management and Website Design/Usability Support Domain 4 will provide technical expertise to design, develop, maintain, operate and support the NRC website and portal infrastructure.

Contractors will be required to perform IT Portal Infrastructure Management and Website Design/Usability Support functions for Domain 4 such as those listed below and other similar activities:

  • Design, develop, operate and maintain the NRC website portal (healthit.ahrq.gov) utilizing the Oracle (Web-Center Interaction)/BEA ALUI portal technology and other software housed in the AHRQ computer center.
  • Enhance, upgrade and customize the NRC Oracle BEA ALUI (WebCenter Interaction) portal and integrate with other needed software website products and tools to support user's evolving needs and to improve performance, system administration, search, navigation, collaboration and usability.
  • Conform to Federal and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirements in laws, policies, and directives for information technology (IT), capital planning and investment, and Internet information management and the security of Agency information and systems.
  • Follow guidelines and deliver documentation specified in Appendix A (AHRQ Web-Site Deployment Checklist) and Appendix C (AHRQ Application and System Development Requirements). Provide Web sites that are in full compliance with all relevant sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). AHRQ will provide specific guidance to the Contractor upon award. General information on accessibility can be found at the following Web resources:
  • Employ periodic usability testing while developing and maintaining the NRC website. Testers shall consist of Health IT Portfolio experts, Federal employees, and other selected end-users. The Contractor shall consider using the HHS Usability Lab http://www.dhhs.gov/policies/webpolicies/200505.html) and/or other sources. Deliver Usability Test Evaluation Summary Guidance on usability testing is provided at www.usability.gov.
  • Coordinate with the AHRQ OCKT and Domain 1, 2 and 3 contractors to insure efficient and effective website content updating, website usability, and proper tagging and searching of website content.
  • Track and monitor site usage and maintain and analyze search logs.
  • Register the NRC portal website with search engines and Web site portals appropriate for the content and provide meta-tags for searching.
  • Provide technical staff onsite at AHRQ as required to support operating and maintaining the portal software applications. (AHRQ will host the NRC website and provide access to the Internet). This may include providing at least 1 key senior technical contractor person onsite at least 50 % of normal working hours.
  • Work with AHRQ to provide a system that maximizes security and data privacy for the NRC portal and website even in the event of a catastrophic failure.
  • Prepare contingency plans, in case the traffic appears to be exceeding estimates.
  • Perform testing and backup/restore processes at a minimum of once every month to insure that the process is viable, and report the results (pass or fail) to the TOO.
  • Maintain all code (source code, builds, and installation artifacts) and documentation under configuration management. Use the Agency's Rational Clear Case for configuration management of all baselined documentation and source code. Baselines shall be maintained for each deployed version of software.
  • Follow the Agency's Configuration Management Plan for defect management and formal Change Control including Change Control Board (CCB) participation, approval and prioritization of changes.
  • Perform IT functions at a minimum at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level 2. An IV&V of each document may be prepared by AHRQ prior to acceptance. The IV&V review period shall be no more than ten (10) business days for each document and the Contractor shall not initiate the next major phase of work following a life cycle milestone until written approval is received from the TOO.
  • Provide monthly reports of the Web site and database uptime and include an "Anomalies Report" describing any major problems with the system's hardware, software, or security.
  • Maintain for inspection, documentation on requirements management, configuration management, cost estimates, project reviews, and quality assurance activities - particularly as it pertains to the RUP and SEI requirements.
  • Monitor sites linking to the NRC website on a monthly basis and include this information along with the total number of visits referred in the monthly progress report.
  • Provide monthly reports that characterize Web site usage trends, including information such as: utilization; frequently visited pages; and other performance metrics.
  • Provide for the security and the privacy of NRC website. All federal public websites currently must comply with Section 207(f)(1)(b)(iv) of the E-Gov Act of 2002, which requires organizations to have security protocols to protect information. Comply with all Federal and HHS security guidelines that are in effect at the time of the award of this contract. U.S. Laws, Office of Management and Budget requirements, HHS Policies and Guides, and Federal Government Computer Security Policy and Guides are provided via the Internet: http://www.hhs.gov/ocio/securityprivacy/pglandreports/polguidlegrep.html and provided in Appendix B.
  • Work with AHRQ to insure that the Web sites and data are secured behind appropriate perimeter defense technologies and that these technologies are programmatically monitored for anomalous traffic behavior(s).
  • Immediately report any unauthorized access to the NRC Website and portal to the TOO and AHRQ CISO.
  • Insure that PII (Personally Identifiable Information, defined by FOIA II) data is never allowed on a system with public (Internet) access.
  • Under direction from AHRQ, conduct (or cause the completion of) a Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-conforming C&A process of the System prior to the System being placed into production. Such C&A will be compliant to all PL-107-347 requirements, Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) mandates (http://www.itl.nist.gov/fipspubs/), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidance. This guidance includes, but is not limited to NIST 800-18, 800-30, 800-37, 800-53 (with appropriate baseline control sets), and 800-60, and is available on the Internet: http://csrc.nist.gov/. The SSP produced for the C&A will, at a minimum, contain provisions for:
    • A Tested Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
    • Computer Incident Response Capability (CIRC).
    • Access Controls containing i.) Rules of Behavior, and ii.) Appropriate Use Policies.
    • Annual Security Awareness Training requirement.
    • PIA (Privacy Impact Analysis).
    • CCP (Change Control Procedures).
    • Appropriate NIST 800-53 Control Set with an appropriate Supplemental Control Set. Control Sets will be appropriate to the SC (Security Classification) determined by using FIPS-199 and NIST 800-60 requirements and guidance.
  • At the conclusion of the C&A process the contractor shall provide an out-brief to the System Owner (SO, who will be the Project Officer) and Information Owner(s) that will describe in detail the requirements of the Continuous Monitoring Phase for the succeeding calendar year (from the date of the Accreditation letter from the Designated Approval Authority [DAA]). Further, the Contractor will identify to the SO all known requirements of FISMA compliance to include reporting, continuing Risk Analyses, Plan of Action and Milestones (P.O.A.&M) completion, and a discussion that imparts a clear understanding to the SO of the Risk Profile (including Residual Risk) of the System covered in the C&A process.

Contractors under this Domain will also be required to perform Program Management functions. They will be expected to responsible for such activities as listed below and other similar tasks.

  • Coordinate and meet periodically with AHRQ staff and Domain 1 Resource Center Program Management contractors regarding project plan execution status, deliverables, schedules, performance, earned value management metrics and monthly results, and resolution of any cross-Domain issues.
  • Discuss and obtain approval for a project work plan, including process, strategy, resources and staff to be provided, time line for performing the work, deliverables, budget and expense plan, strategy, format for the monthly progress report, and other contract Domain program management execution issues.
  • Provide monthly progress reports of Domain activities to AHRQ. Each monthly report should: (1) document and summarize the contractor's progress toward completing project milestones and tasks; (2) provide the status, accomplishments, expenditures, and a brief description of all ongoing assigned tasks and efforts, and include details about problems encountered and how they are being dealt with, as well as explanations for any tasks that are behind schedule; (3) discuss and summarize all Domain activities during the prior month; (4) describe anticipated challenges/problems, and describe a plan for future activities; (5) provide current and proposed expenditures relative to original schedule and budget; (6) attach updated Microsoft Project reports and update the AHRQ Microsoft Project Server with all tasks, resources, resource utilization by task, costs by resources and tasks, timelines and milestones, earned-value-management (EVM) reports, and other meaningful project management and expense information. Also, each monthly report shall include a summary discussion, and descriptions of all consultant visits and findings and all technical assistance provided.
  • Prepare a final report at the conclusion of any Task Orders. The final report as outlined in the Task Order will likely require the contractor to summarize the full Task Order and contract experience, including accomplishments, assessment of barriers/challenges encountered, and recommendations to the Agency on ways to sustain and improve activities and process, capabilities and services. Also, the final report shall include a description of all on-going initiatives and projects which will require continued support into option years, and a discussion of the specific support requirements for initiatives and projects in the option years.

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