Province of British Columbia selects Sun to build and implement provincial Electronic Health Record system

Victoria 17 April 2007The government of British Columbia (B.C.) has selected Sun Microsystems (B.C.) Inc., a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc., and a consortium of partners to develop and implement a comprehensive electronic health care solution that will transform the way laboratory results and other essential patient information is securely shared amongst health care practitioners across the province. The systems will provide faster access to patient information, reducing wait times for procedures and saving health care costs by reducing the occurrence of re-tests.


In collaboration with the B.C. provincial government, Sun will design and build the Provincial Laboratory Information Solution (PLIS) and the interoperable Electronic Health Record (iEHR) system. PLIS will provide authorized clinicians across B.C. with electronic access to laboratory tests and results from public and private laboratory service providers. The iEHR will integrate the province's health data infrastructure, offering health care workers access to primary care data and other clinical data from pharmacies, laboratories and diagnostic imaging systems.

The PLIS and iEHR project are important elements of British Columbia's eHealth strategy, which is supported by Canada Health Infoway, an independent not-for-profit organisation that invests with public sector partners across Canada to implement and reuse compatible health information systems. Sun Microsystems (B.C.) Inc. along with principal development team, Quest Diagnostics health care information technology subsidiary MedPlus, will design and build the PLIS and iEHR solutions in accordance with Canada Health Infoway's Electronic Health Record architecture and pan-Canadian standards. CGI will be responsible for service desk and application management while TELUS leads managed operations services. TELUS will also be responsible for secured hosting of patient laboratory data.

Sun was selected for the PLIS and iEHR project based in large part on Sun's existing technology and proven experience in implementing large-scale health care solutions, including the design, delivery, and operation of networks in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Sun's focus in health care enables clinical transformation by liberating trapped data in the health system. As such, Sun's software, storage, systems and services help deliver secure health information exchange, data management and compliance that enable the reduction of costs and medical errors, while improving efficiency and patient care. Along with First Consulting Group (FCG), MedPlus, CGI and TELUS, Sun brings the global health care technology expertise to British Columbia.

"British Columbia's decision to ally with Sun for one of the largest eHealth projects in North America is further proof that we are a global leader in this area", stated Andy Canham, President, Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. "From Korea and Brazil to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada, forward-looking governments are investing in technology systems that save lives and cut costs."

As a component of the PLIS project, Sun has been tapped to provide the complete hardware and software infrastructure required to connect disparate local health data systems while consolidating the information and offering a single patient view for the province's health care workers.

The province's system will include Sun's cost-effective, powerful and easy to scale storage platform to support the 25 terabytes of patient data and lab results the PLIS solution will hold. Powerful and energy efficient Sun Fire x64 and Sun Fire UltraSPARC T1 CoolThreads servers will deliver the flexibility to handle large workloads and the scalability to easily expand as the province's requirements grow. The entire network will be powered by the Solaris 10 Operating System, the most stable and secure operating system available.

British Columbia's new eHealth system will be built on a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that will take advantage of Sun Java Composite Application Platform Suite (Java CAPS) for streamlined application development and management. This flexible, scalable architecture allows the province to maximize ROI by quickly and easily re-using, expanding existing or integrating new health applications and services throughout the province. This also ensures that future applications will interoperate with other provincial and federal initiatives that follow pan-Canadian standards, all the while maintaining a low total cost of ownership.

First Consulting Group and Sun will jointly design, build and implement the iEHR. First Consulting Group's FirstGateways Suite will be used to integrate information and securely present health records in the iEHR. MedPlus will design, build and implement the PLIS lab information solution, including a central repository of lab results, a system for reporting of test results, and a web based laboratory domain viewer for the province's eHealth infrastructure. Sun will design, build, and implement the underlying identity and access management solution for the iEHR and PLIS systems based on the Sun Java Identity Management (IdM) Suite. This will ensure that all information is managed, protected, stored and shared according to role-based access control throughout the organisation and across extranets. In preparation for their role as provider of Service Desk and Application Management Services, CGI will augment the design and build of the above components.

CGI and TELUS are responsible for management and hosting of the eHealth system, fronted by the CGI Service Desk. CGI is responsible for all application management, as well as providing software support and co-ordinating software upgrades. TELUS will host patient laboratory data in its secure, redundant data hosting centres in Canada.

Sun Microsystems (B.C.) Inc. is a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. is headquartered in Markham, Ontario. The company, which employs more than 640 persons, has offices in Montréal, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. Sun products and services are also available through Sun Authorized Independent Marketing Organizations and Sun Partner Advantage Program partners across Canada.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, providing insights that enable health care professionals to make decisions that improve health. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its national network of laboratories and patient service centres, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a provider of esoteric testing, including gene-based medical testing, and provides advanced information technology solutions to improve patient care.

MedPlus, the health care information technology subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics, is a developer and integrator of clinical connectivity and health care data management solutions that foster better patient care and improve business performance for health care institutions, physicians and patients. The company's ChartMaxx and Care360 solutions efficiently and securely collect, store, manage and integrate clinical information within an organisation, enterprise, practice or community.

ChartMaxx, the award-winning electronic health record solution, has been implemented in more than 120 hospitals and clinics with more than 125.000 clinical and administrative users. Care360 is a patient-centric physician portal providing a network of more than more than 700.000 users, 300.000 physicians and their staff with tools to improve patient care and overall office efficiency.

First Consulting Group (FCG) is a provider of outsourcing, software, consulting, systems implementation and integration for health care, pharmaceutical, and other life sciences organisations throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Through combinations of onsite, off-site and offshore resources, FCG provides low cost, high quality services and solutions to improve its clients' performance. The firm's consulting and integration services increase clients' operations effectiveness with information technology, resulting in reduced costs, improved customer service, enhanced quality of patient care, and more rapid introduction of new pharmaceutical compounds.

The FirstGateways Health Information Exchange system is built upon a powerful and flexible enterprise architecture to support initiatives that improve patient care and enable health caregivers to make better decisions by providing them with web-enabled, real-time access to patient data. The product is currently being deployed to serve a wide variety of enterprise, community, and regional data sharing and integration initiatives.

Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is one of the largest independent information technology and business process services firms in the world. CGI and its affiliated companies employ approximately 25.000 professionals. CGI provides end-to-end IT and business process services to clients worldwide from offices in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific as well as from centres of excellence in North America, Europe and India. CGI's annualized revenue run rate stands at $3,6 billion (US$3,1 billion) and at December 31st, 2006, CGI's order backlog was $12,6 billion (US$10,9 billion). CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB) and are included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index as well as the S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology and MidCap Indices.

TELUS is a national telecommunications company in Canada, with $8,7 billion of annual revenue and 10,7 million customer connections including 5,1 million wireless subscribers, 4,5 million wireline network access lines and 1,1 million Internet subscribers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. Committed to being Canada's premier corporate citizen, over the last six years TELUS has contributed more than $76 million to charitable and non-profit organisations, and has established seven TELUS Community Boards across Canada to lead its local philanthropic initiatives.

Leslie Versweyveld

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