Alberta to reduce number of funded EMR
EDMONTON The Physician Office
System Program (POSP) in Alberta is reducing the number of certified
vendors to five by the end of 2008. Currently, there are 13 vendors that
have been accredited by POSP; when physicians implement these solutions,
they qualify for funding from the program.
Two of the five systems have already been decided upon Capital Health
has chosen Epic as a regional solution, while Calgary Health Region has
opted for EMIS. According to the POSP office, however, these regional
solutions must still meet all requirements in the POSP RFP to be
considered compliant and eligible for funding.
Moreover, physicians working outside of a health region facility will
not be required to use the regional vendor. Community physicians will
have the opportunity to choose from the three successful vendors as well
as the regional vendor.
POSP is currently evaluating applications for the remaining three
certifications. A short list of six vendors will be determined by July
31. In September, these six vendor solutions will undergo additional
testing to determine the three finalists.
The decision to reduce the number of funded solutions in Alberta was
made during recent tri-lateral negotiations between Alberta Health and
Wellness, the Alberta Medical Association and the POSP.
The aim is to develop enhanced abilities in the clinical management
systems offered to Alberta physicians. Vendors who wished to compete in
the latest round of accreditation were required to submit a proposal by
Some of the enhanced features that are in the latest request for
Improved system reliability and service levels.
Improved support for data conversion from one physician office system
Improved validity, accuracy and integrity of information.
Improved sharing between a physicians electronic medical record and
provincial and regional systems.
Alignment with emerging pan-Canadian standards.
Data-centre based solutions.
Best practice clinical processes and care pathways
POSP expects new products should be available for physicians starting in
Physicians who now receive POSP funding, but use a product that has been
dropped from the VCUR product list, will have additional time to select
and install a new system. Provided they continue to meet their current
POSP outcomes, they will receive up to 48 months of funding before they
need to switch to one of the newly certified EMR solutions.
A plan is under way to issue a Data Migration Services RFQ to make sure
data migration experts are available to accurately and securely transfer
data from one EMR system to another in the new electronic environment.
The Physician Office System Program (POSP) said in a release that it has
worked diligently with physicians, clinic managers, government
officials, privacy experts, health regions and other key stakeholders to
develop the new physician office system requirements. The selection of
the successful vendors will decided by a set of multi-stakeholder
evaluation panels, with representatives from Alberta Health and
Wellness, the Alberta Medical Association and other subject matter
experts, supported by POSP.
The panel participants who will evaluate the products include:
10 physicians representing the AMA (a mix of GPs, Specialists and
three (3) clinic managers;
three (3) technical, privacy and security representatives from AH&W;
two (2) standards representatives from AHW;
two (2) subject matter experts; and
ten (10) additional physicians, nominated by the AMA who will
participate during the usability assessment phase, to provide additional
The names of the multi-stakeholder evaluation panel members will not be