Cerner Corp. has won a no-bid contract to implement a health information technology system serving 1.2 million people in western Canada.
According to freedom of information documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun newspaper, Cerner has replaced IBM on a 10-year, $842 million project to make patient health records digital at three dozen hospitals and clinics in Canada.
The Vancouver Sun said the health records project “has been plagued by disagreements, numerous risks, the ouster of IBM and stalled progress. It is now in a reset mode.”
The project to integrate software systems in the Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care regions adds to other business Cerner does in Canada. North Kansas City-based Cerner software already is used by Vancouver Coastal Health as well as elsewhere in the country.
Canadian Health Minister Terry Lake told the Vancouver Sun that IBM had been paid about $72 million before it was ousted from the contract about four months ago. A dollar value to Cerner was not available, but authorities said the company will be paid out of the project budget.
The IBM-led system was supposed to go live in the first facilities by next month, but initial operations were pushed back a year to fall 2016, with full project completion estimated in 2024. The project was to have taken five years from start to finish, with completion previously expected in 2018.
Project reviews by McKinsey and Co. and North York Hospital in Toronto led Canadian health officials to jettison IBM.
Cerner spokesman Dan Smith said Cerner looks forward to delivering “the vision of the Clinical and Systems Transformation project” in what he called “the largest health care project in British Columbia history.”
Two weeks ago, the Pentagon announced that a team that included Cerner had won a multibillion-dollar contract to modernize the electronic health records of military personnel, retirees and their families.