Frequently Asked Questions
How are the new ASP EMRs being selected?
How were the proposed ASP EMR offerings evaluated? Did any clinicians participate?
What about EMRs for specialists?
When will these new ASP EMR offerings be certified?
Why is OntarioMD expanding the number of ASP EMRs?
I am a physician using a certified Local EMR. Will I have to migrate to an ASP if my vendor now offers a certified ASP EMR?
I am physician using a certified Local EMR. Will I eventually have to move to an ASP EMR offering?
I am an EMR vendor of a certified ASP EMR offering, what does this mean for me?
I am an EMR vendor with a certified Local EMR offering, what does this mean for me?
1. How are the new ASP EMRs being selected?
OntarioMD is proceeding with an open, multi-stage selection process that is consistent with Ontario's Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive. A Fairness Commissioner has been engaged to monitor and attest to the process.
The multi-stage selection process is expected to proceed according to the stages described below:
Stage 1: Request for Qualifications
- Open to all interested EMR vendors
- EMR vendors must have an existing ASP EMR offering (or an existing EMR and an established relationship with an experienced ASP service provider) and demonstrate financial and organizational capacity for sustainability. In addition the RFQ will assess the ASP EMR offering's:
- Service quality
- Functionality and Usability (limited to key features in RFQ stage)
- Delivery and support capability
- Security and Privacy
- Only Qualified Vendors selected through the RFQ will be invited to participate in subsequent stages.
Stage 2: Application and Readiness Evaluation
- By invitation - only vendors that qualified in Stage 1 may apply
- Proposed ASP EMR offerings will be evaluated according to detailed requirements and vendor's ability to meet all mandatory requirements for validation by a specified date.
- Detailed requirements include:
- Ontario EMR Specifications
- Certain additional requirements specific to ASP EMR offerings
- ASP EMR Security Requirements
- Requires payment of an application and evaluation fee
- Responses will be evaluated and must achieve minimum scoring requirements to be considered in Stage 3
Stage 3: Validation
- Vendors that achieve minimum scoring required in Stage 2 will have a specified time frame in which they may present their proposed ASP EMR offering for validation
- Vendor obligations will be set out in an EMR Certification Agreement.
- Validation will include:
- Demonstrations of the ASP EMR offering in a test environment (OntarioMD Lab)
- Successful demonstration of the ASP EMR offering in a live clinical reference site, according to requirements specified by OntarioMD
- Vendor and its ASP EMR offering that successfully completes Stage 3 and meets all the requirements of the EMR Certification Agreement will be awarded a Certificate as set out therein.
- Certificate status will be published on OntarioMD.ca.
2. How were the proposed ASP EMR offerings evaluated? Did any clinicians participate?
Teams of clinical, business and technical subject matter experts evaluated the RFQ responses according to the approved evaluation criteria. A Fairness Commissioner monitored the RFQ evaluations.
Clinicians were involved throughout the RFQ process - developing requirements and evaluation criteria, evaluating responses and reviewing and approving the results.
3. What about EMRs for specialists?
Many community-based specialists in Ontario are already using EMRs, however specialists have told OntarioMD that they need their EMRs to have functionality and features that better align with their specialized clinical practice models.
OntarioMD is working with specialist groups that represent the interests of their members to develop specialty-specific EMR Specifications. OntarioMD will work with vendors to develop a better understanding of the needs and priorities of specialist practices.
4. When will these new ASP EMR offerings be certified?
The ASP EMR offerings from the qualified respondents must meet all requirements and pass Stages 2 and 3 of the multi-stage selection process to receive certification for their ASP offerings. Certificate status will be posted on OntarioMD.ca.
5. Why is OntarioMD expanding the number of ASP EMRs?
Application Service Provider (ASP) EMRs simplify the technology that needs to be managed within the clinician's office and facilitate interfacing with eHealth applications such as the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS) and Hospital Report Manager (HRM). Clinicians, especially those in smaller practices, have been looking for more choice in ASP EMR offerings.
6. I am a physician using a certified Local EMR. Will I have to migrate to an ASP if my vendor now offers a certified ASP EMR?
- If your EMR vendor is selected to provide a new certified ASP EMR offering, you will be able to work with your vendor to transition to their ASP offering over a reasonable timeframe.
- You will not be required to move away from your certified Local EMR offering as long as it remains certified in Ontario.
7. I am physician using a certified Local EMR. Will I eventually have to move to an ASP EMR offering?
Ontario has no plans to require you to migrate from your certified Local EMR to a certified ASP EMR offering.
8. I am an EMR vendor of a certified ASP EMR offering, what does this mean for me?
- You are not required to re-validate your ASP EMR product at this time.
- Your current ASP EMR offering remains certified.
9. I am an EMR vendor with a certified Local EMR offering, what does this mean for me?
Your current Local EMR offering remains certified.
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