CGI leads two Montreal area hospitals into the future
?The innovative and strategic solution that CGI proposed for
the management of our key administrative functions clearly demonstrated that
they completely understood our needs. This solution offered the best quality-to-
price ratio and is ideal for us in the long run.
François Lemoyne, Director of Finance and Information Technology, CHA
In Canada's cost-conscious healthcare sector, hospitals ? particularly those
that are dependent on government funding ? are looking for new ways to improve
the efficiency of their operations and measure their performance in an attempt to
maximize the investments in their core activities. For two Montreal-area hospitals,
success is being achieved through a partnership with CGI that allows them to
benefit from forward-looking, integrated IT solutions with exceptional flexibility
The hospital centre formerly known as the Centre hospitalier Angrignon was
established through the merger of the LaSalle General Hospital and the Verdun
Hospital Centre. These two hospitals were founded in 1932 to offer a range of
healthcare services to a diverse demographic in southwest Montreal. In July of
2000, they "de-merged" to become autonomous institutions with a common
central administration. Each of them had their own information systems that
fully supported their operations, but offered very limited strategic data mining
The management of these de-merged hospitals was faced with the challenge
of acquiring integrated IT solutions that would help streamline their resources
and permit them to fulfil their mission. In addition, these hospitals had to find
a way to upgrade their information systems so that they could measure their
performance and assess the cost associated with each episode of care.
Meeting these significant challenges became a priority following the government
of Quebec's decision to adopt a performance-based funding formula for hospitals.
Those that failed to measure their performance accurately ran the risk of losing
increasingly vital added funding. On a different but equally important note, the
CHA was not in a position to assign this complex computing task to its internal
Through the standard competitive bidding process, CGI presented a unique
business and healthcare vision for the hospitals that lead to a 10-year IT
outsourcing contract with the CHA. François Lemoyne, Director of Finance and
Information Technology for the CHA declared: ?The innovative and strategic
solution that CGI proposed for the management of our key administrative functions
clearly demonstrated that they completely understood our needs. This solution
offered the best quality-to-price ratio and is ideal for us in the long run.?
Being aware that an in-house system would require constant upgrades, CGI
rejected that option and proposed an audacious and exclusive model that was
both scalable and affordable. Although this approach did not comply with the
specifications set forth in the request for proposal, CGI strongly believed in the
potential of this proposal. Through the recommended application service provider
(ASP) model, the CHA would benefit from high-speed servers and the latest
management applications without costly investments in hardware and software.
It would also facilitate the three-step implementation of a state-of-the-art solution
that would be fully integrated with the SAP Enterprise Portal and maximize the
use of existing systems.
The project began in August 2000. To further develop the proposed solution,
CGI first initiated a research phase that was funded through its Strategic
Investment Program (SIP) and staged a pilot project to explore, among others,
a Web solution for SAP.
As systems integrator, CGI created a network infrastructure and developed a
Web-based interface to enable application access via the Internet. CGI provided
end-to-end services to manage the evolution of the solution. Tight security
measures including maintaining servers at a secure off-site location worked to
increase privacy protection.
The ASP model, where many clients share the same infrastructure and
applications, makes day-to-day operations easier because all maintenance,
supervision and responsibility of the system rest with CGI. "We appreciate
CGI's comprehensive and integrated ASP model. As a result, we only have to
deal with a limited number of suppliers to meet all of our IT needs,? explained
SAP Enterprise Portal Environment;
SAP R/3 healthcare-related financial and administrative solutions;
MediSolution: existing human resource management and payroll systems.
Through the ASP model, the hospitals have gained significant financial and operational
benefits as well as exceptional data mining capabilities that support major
management and administrative decisions. For instance, CGI can extract an
abundance of data from the existing CHA payroll system into SAP applications and
leverage their advanced functionalities. In the past, management had to wait three weeks
after any payroll period to obtain detailed reports. Now, this information is available
three days prior to payroll distribution. This information is more detailed than ever,
presenting the number of hours worked by each employee in every pay period.
In addition, procurement leaders use this integrated data to maximize purchase savings
through improved transaction grouping and management of promotional periods offered
by suppliers. At the beginning, conventional wisdom postulated that all existing systems
had to be replaced in order to obtain such outstanding results. Thanks to the ASP
model implemented by CGI and the tight-knit collaboration between its members and the
dynamic leaders at CHA, these results were achieved without resorting to drastic
In conclusion, Lemoyne noted: "We're very happy with what CGI did and impressed
with its knowledge of technology and implementation of healthcare applications. Now that
we do not have to worry about managing our information systems, we can spend more time
on our core obligation, i.e. providing healthcare services.?
Although the original contract focused only on administrative applications, its scope was
expanded to incorporate medico-administrative applications such as the management of
patient admissions, transfers and discharges.