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Physician IT

BC announces timelines for EMR installations

VICTORIA, B.C. – British Columbia’s Physician Information Technology Office (PITO), which is coordinating the rollout of clinical information systems in doctors’ offices, has announced an implementation schedule for 2008. PITO has a web site at:

Key PITO Dates for 2008

Following the finalization of the contracts between the Ministry of Health and the six successful EMR proponents in December, PITO has been firming up timelines for 2008. On December 11th, 2007, the Ministry of Health signed contracts with six successful proponents: Clinicare Corporation, EMIS Inc., Intrahealth Canada Ltd, Med Access Inc., Osler Systems Management Inc., and Wolf Medical Systems.

Key dependency dates:

• Electronic Medical Records: Each of the six EMR suppliers will be conducting conformance testing with the Ministry of Health starting in early February – the final step in their approval process. Each of the six will apply for conformance testing when they are ready, and PITO anticipates each of the six vendors completing conformance testing at various points between February and the summer (they have until December if required). As soon as each vendor completes conformance testing, they can begin implementations with physicians approved for support and funding through PITO.

• Network: The Private Physician Network (PPN) will be prepared between January and July for implementations beginning this summer.

The PITO Pilot groups are continuing through the initial PITO implementations and proceeding well. They will be selecting their preferred EMR during January and February, and conducting the implementation process between March and July. Provided that the dependencies described above and the pilot projects proceed as planned, the 2008 schedule for PITO is as follows:

January 15: Sign-up for “Early Adopter” and “Pre-Purchase” opens

February 1 - March 14: Sign-up period for full PITO EMR implementation support (ITSP) for implementations starting between April 1, 2008 and September 30, 2008 (applicants will be assigned to a period during the six months to begin implementation)


Each practice accepted during an intake period will be assigned to a 3-month period (a “wave”) during which it will begin implementation (an average complete EMR implementation taking between 4-12 months total – depending on the practice).

“Wave 1”

(Groups starting preparations in April/May for implementation July-September.) As a general guide for those interested in starting, the first groups scheduled to proceed after the pilot groups will proceed approximately as follows (dependent on each practice’s unique requirements):

April - June: Pre-implementation planning with practices who will implement an EMR July – September

June - July: Practices implementing an EMR July - September will select their preferred EMR vendor and finalize a contract with the EMR vendor

July - September: EMR vendor services and “go-live” with each “Wave 1” practice (some practices may complete implementation after September depending on their own unique requirements and timelines)

“Waves 2 & 3”

The schedule for each subsequent wave will proceed according to the same schedule as “Wave 1”, above. i.e., Pre-implementation begins 4-6 months before implementation (“go-live”) in rolling overlapping phases.

For more information, please contact the PITO Office at:Phone: (604) 638-2946, Email:, Fax: (604) 638-2949.