Taxpayers will be spending millions on a computer system mega-project allowing doctors to request lab tests and access the results online. In an interview, health communications director Marisa Adair said she couldn't confirm the exact value of the contract due to competitiveness concerns except to say "It's in the tens of millions" of dollars. But two insiders familiar with that multi-year deal (which will cover development and ongoing maintenance and administration costs) estimated the number considerably higher, with one calling it a "$400 million adventure" - information Ms. Adair says is incorrect. And what about the privacy concerns surrounding a system that will be carrying such sensitive information? Ms. Adair didn't specifically address those worries, except to say, "Privacy and patient confidentiality - as in all our e-health initiatives - is a critical component of the project. So it's got to be compliant with FOIPPA. And we have tough privacy measures that are among the strongest in Canada in terms of ensuring this." The lab contract, which will be jointly funded by the provincial and federal governments, is expected to be posted sometime next month. The following is a copy of the day-after-Boxing Day news release announcing that contract.
December 27, 2005
Development Of A Provincial Laboratory Information Solution (PLIS) For British Columbia Begins
The Provincial Laboratory Coordinating Office (PLCO) is leading the development of a Provincial Laboratory Information Solution (PLIS) for British Columbia.
The PLCO and the Ministry of Health are seeking a service provider through a Joint Solution Procurement Process to build, implement and operate PLIS for the Province. The common services and E-Health infrastructure components needed to support exchange of clinical lab information and other clinical data will also be examined.
Using the Joint Solution Procurement Process, PLIS and the supporting infrastructure will be implemented by leveraging the combined capability, creativity and strengths of both the public and private sectors to create the best possible solution for BC's health and laboratory system.
The overall guiding vision for PLIS is to provide access to clinical laboratory information (results, orders and decision support) to care providers at the point of care anywhere in British Columbia. This will increase efficiency, enhance clinical decision support and reduce duplication of tests in the laboratory system in this province.
PLIS is a key initiative in the Ministry of Health's E-Health strategy that will develop the Electronic Health Record and supporting IT infrastructure for health care in British Columbia. PLIS is a key component within the PLCO's overall lab services transformation activities.
The Joint Solution Procurement Process will likely commence in early 2006 with the posting of a Joint Solution Request for Proposal on BC Bid.
In the meantime, the PLCO will be disseminating information about the opportunity to the vendor community. In advance of the posting of the Joint Solution Request for Proposal, the PLCO will conduct a Live Meeting information session on Monday, January 9th, for vendors interested in learning more about the PLIS initiative.
Additional information on the next steps regarding the PLIS Joint Solution process will be provided in the weeks following this information session.