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Systems integration

BC chooses Sun Micro for health IT projects

VICTORIA – The government of British Columbia has selected Sun Microsystems, subject to conclusion of a process of due diligence and contract negotiation, to work with the Province to develop a foundation for electronic health records that will help patients access safer, higher-quality care, provide better support for doctors, support care providers and achieve health systems integration.

As part of a Joint Solutions Request for Proposals, the solicitation called for qualified vendors to propose solutions to develop, create and implement the Provincial Laboratory Information Solution (PLIS) and the interoperable Electronic Health Record (iEHR) projects.

PLIS will provide authorized clinicians anywhere in B.C. with electronic access to laboratory tests and results from public and private laboratory service providers.

The iEHR provides the integrating element of the overall eHealth solution, giving care providers integrated access to clinical data from the pharmacy, laboratory and diagnostic imaging systems, as well as health authority and primary care data.

The PLIS and iEHR projects are the foundation that will develop the electronic health record and are key components of the Province’s eHealth strategy.

All patient information will be protected by privacy measures that are among the strongest in Canada, the government said. The solution will comply with the Province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In addition, access to patient information will be absolutely restricted to only those having a clear right and need to access personal health information or to access the systems where the information resides.

One of the key investors in B.C.’s eHealth program is Canada Health Infoway, a federal, non-profit organization with the mandate to accelerate the development of electronic health information systems across Canada. The cost of building PLIS will be shared between the province and Canada Health Infoway, roughly 25 percent and 75 percent respectively.

The B.C. government will now work with Sun Microsystems in contract negotiations and conduct due-diligence. The contract signing is expected in late 2006. Detailed design and implementation of the PLIS is projected for late 2006/07 with rollout beginning in 2007/08.