I had the opportunity to go to the first CHI vendor meeting (held yesterday in Victoria) since the $500M budget announcement. It was an interesting dynamic. The room was full of mainly acute care vendors like Oracle, Siemens, etc looking to find out how CHI was going to be spending the $500M over the next two years. I’m not sure they got the answer they were looking for.
At this point exact spend info was not forthcoming for a variety of valid political reasons, but what was interesting was a number of key messages from CHI:
1) This is not specifically about healthcare IT funding, it is about creating jobs.
2) This is going to roll out very quickly (likely to see at least two net new spending programs in the next 3-6 months) compared to past CHI efforts.
3) CHI is facing political pressure from their masters to connect as many long ignored silos outside of acute care, to existing CHI systems. The bulk of the money is going to be spent outside of the provincial IT systems, with some for acute and community but the big winner are EMR systems.
4) CHI will for the first time consider directly investing with vendors, specifically EMR vendors to ensure their product roadmaps will allow for integration with CHI supported systems.
5) My guess is that the existing and planned certification bodies (ie PITO, OntarioMD, etc) have just won the lottery. It would not suprise me to see several hundred million earmarked for them. What will be intersting is how this money is allocated. Given CHIs interest in maintaining control I would think they would co-invest with the bodies to suppliment the existing 70% discount. It is unlikely that they will simply hand the money over and let the certification programs take all the glory.
I can think of about 15 other things that were of interest, but these struck me as top of mind. What does everyone else think?