New Transcription Services Business Model Taken to Tender

Vancouver, March 22, 2012 — Preparations for redesigning Lower Mainland Health Information Management (LM HIM) are moving forward with the posting of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for LM HIM Transcription Services.
A request for proposals for LM HIM Transcription Services will be posted to BC Bid ( today. This RFP has a closing date of April 26, 2012.

The successful vendor will be tasked with providing dictation and transcription labour and technology for Fraser Health (FH), Providence Health Care (PHC), Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). We anticipate moving forward with a new, outsourced LM HIM Transcription Services business model by later this year.

This proposal to outsource the service completely follows an unsuccessful 90 day negotiation period with the unions on alternative models for the more cost-effective delivery of transcription services. The failed discussions resulted in the RFP which is anticipated to improve service delivery and yield over $3 million in savings annually in taxpayer dollars that can be redirected to patient care. It is also one of a series of successful activities to find efficiencies in non-clinical and clinical-support areas within the Lower Mainland Consolidation (LMC) initiative.

To date, LMC is yielding its participating health authorities up to $55 million in annual savings through consolidated, standardized service models in 11 areas. These include information technology, support services, facilities management and health information management.

As part of providing care, physicians often dictate (voice record) the outcomes of a patient's visit. Transcription services staff listen-to and type this recorded information into electronic documents, which become part of a patient's medical records.

“Currently, there are different computer systems, standards and processes for delivering transcription services at each of the four health organizations, resulting in inefficiencies and inconsistent service,” said Dianne Doyle, President & CEO of Providence Health Care (PHC), the organization leading the implementation process.

“We will be looking for a Canadian service provider that can provide the right combination of people and technological resources to meet all our complex and changing transcription needs,” she said. “We will also expect the successful vendor to comply with all the legal requirements and expectations of privacy and confidentiality.”

Examples of privacy safeguards required of any potential vendor are:
Technology safeguards are in place to prevent the loss/theft or inappropriate capture, storage, modification and/or sharing of patient information, at all stages of the dictation/transcription process;

That patient information will never leave Canada. Outsourced medical transcriptionists must reside and perform their work in Canada, and all data must be stored in a secure, controlled-access data centre located in Canada; and

Protocols and plans are in place in accordance with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) guidelines.

Transcriptionists employed by the external vendor will also be required to have privacy training and sign privacy and confidentiality agreements.

Doyle said that the use of external transcription vendors is common across Canada, including the Lower Mainland where approximately 45% of transcription work is already being outsourced to an external vendor. She added that the current transcription systems do not leverage the latest in speech recognition technology and result in higher costs associated with multiple maintenance contracts.

There will be no negative impact to patient care or the way physicians access and receive transcription services as a result of the external vendor process.


Dave Lefebvre
Communications & Public Affairs
Providence Health Care
Tel: (604) 682-2344 ext. 66987
Cell: (604) 837-6003