Manitoba creates EMR shortlist
WINNIPEG – Last month, Manitoba
selected four suppliers of Electronic Medical Records solutions, saying
they are ‘candidates’ to become approved vendors to its physician
The four ‘candidate vendors’ and their products, in alphabetical order,
• Clinicare Corporation
Product name: Clinicare EliteCare 6.5
• Code-Med Inc.
Product name: Freedom Paperless Office version 4.5.1
Powered by JonokeMed version 4.5.1
• Med Access Inc.
Product name: Med Access version 3.2.1
• Optimed Software Corporation
Product name: Accuro version 4
The candidate vendors are required to enter into a Master Standing
Agreement with Manitoba and to modify their products to meet all of
Manitoba’s core EMR requirements. Once each vendor is ready, Manitoba
will conduct a conformance testing process to verify that all core
requirements have been met. At this point, the vendor will become an
Approved EMR Vendor.
The qualification process started with Pan-Canadian requirements,
developed by a collaborative group representing most Canadian
jurisdictions. These Pan-Canadian EMR requirements were then reviewed
and tailored by physicians in Manitoba.
The resulting requirements were then included in an open procurement
process that followed Manitoba Government purchasing policies and
procedures. This process allowed all EMR vendors to compete on a fair
and objective basis, the government said.
Vendors who applied were evaluated based on their written proposal,
demonstrations of the usability of their product, technical assessment,
customer reference checks and pricing.
While Manitoba facilitated the process, most of the evaluators were
practitioners, including family physicians, clinic managers, specialist
physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals,
and RHA personnel. During the usability demonstrations, approximately 20
evaluators (including physicians, other clinicians and clinic managers)
comprised the evaluation team.
“I found the process to be fair and based on the needs of Manitoban
primary care physicians, while looking ahead to the anticipated
connectivity to the EHR,” said participant Dr. Chris Burnett. “The
bottom line is, there will be better and safer care for our patients
while helping us docs manage our practice better.”
This process to identify Approved Vendors was driven by requests from
family physicians and RHA-run clinics who recognized the advantages of a
provincial vendor qualification process. The EMR will become a vital
tool to connect physicians in the community electronically to the rest
of the health system.
Vendors were required to propose a complete EMR solution and to offer
clinics a choice between using the solution on an application service
provider (ASP) basis or a local hosting basis. In an ASP model, the
application software resides on a server in a data centre managed by the
vendor; workstations in the clinic access the server over a network.
In a locally hosted model the clinic is responsible for housing and
managing the servers as well as workstations. Although Manitoba had the
option of choosing different vendors in each category, a decision has
been made to allow clinics to choose any of the vendors on either the
ASP or local hosting basis.
Manitoba set out to select two to three vendors in each category, but
has selected four vendors because these vendors were not clearly
differentiated in the final scores.
Manitoba eHealth is establishing a Primary Care/Community Physician
Information System Support (PCISS) office to assist physicians and
clinics in acquiring an EMR that will meet their needs.