Single Source Procurement: Electronic Death Registration System

Pursuant to New York State Finance Law § 163.10(b), The New York State Department of Health is presenting the following summary of relevant circumstances, and material and substantial reasons why a competitive procurement was not feasible.

The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records (BVR) requested and received an exemption from the NYS Contractor Reporting Requirement for an eight month extension of an existing contract with Documentation Strategies (C030266) from August 3, 2016 through March 31, 2017. BVR is mandated by public health law to complete the implementation of an Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS). There have been unexpected delays with the EDRS implementation such as the need to incorporate NYS specific customization that came to light during the pilot, the complexity of the outreach to the numerous stakeholders and the timeframe of getting the contact approved. It's in the best interest of the Department to continue with Documentation Strategies and not another vendor, as the current contractor is very involved in the design, development and customization of the vendor EDRS documentation and developed training materials to meet specific requirements of the New York State EDRS implementation. To start with another vendor would require additional costs and project delays to train and transfer knowledge to a new resource.

Bureau of Vital Records (BVR) maintains central repositories for all vital events (births, deaths, marriages, dissolutions, and fetal deaths) and provides statistical data and reporting to a variety of federal and state agencies and public health programs.

BVR processes approximately 95,000 death certificates each year for deaths occurring in New York, excluding the five boroughs of New York City. BVR is responsible for collecting and managing death certificates and associated information throughout New York State, per Public Health Law Sections 4140-4147, the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR), and the New York State Registrar Manual as approved by the NYS DOH Commissioner. Access to copies of death certificates is subject to Public Health Law 4173 and 4174 and the NYCRR 35.4.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH), BVR is mandated under Public Health Law §4148 to design, implement and maintain an Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS). Subdivision 2 mandates the establishment and support of the system will be supported by funeral directors through a payment of $20 for the issuance of each burial and removal permit (burial - transit permit).

The purpose of this EDRS project is to move from a paper based registration process to an electronic one to improve efficiency, security and timeliness of death registration in New York State. EDRS will be the primary source for all public health surveillance and quality mortality data, to support data analysis and reports to a public health community that includes State agencies and Federal consumers. There is a compelling need to quickly implement and deploy the EDRS solution to large statewide stakeholder community including funeral directors (3,000), physicians (90,000), medical examiners (60+), and local city, town and county registrars (1,500) EDRS is an existing software solution used by other state jurisdictions (including New York City) that will be configured to support New York State specific laws and workflows. We are currently in the process of developing and implementing materials. This will be ongoing for the remainder of FY 16. In order to achieve the EDRS project goals and timelines it was necessary to procure the services of a professional individual who had extensive experience in documentation and content development and end user training experience to support usage of complex business application similar to EDRS.

The BVR is currently utilizing the services of Documentation Strategies, Inc. to assist with the implementation of the EDRS. She is currently performing the following tasks:

  1. Developing comprehensive end user guides to support EDRS training
  2. Customizing existing vendor EDRS documentation to meet specific requirements of New York State EDRS implementation
  3. Developing video based instructional tutorials for on-demand distribution
  4. Developing web based content using industry tools
  5. Performing testing of EDRS software and support for EDRS help desk

Documentation Strategies bill rate will remain at the current $72/hr. and is therefore deemed reasonable.

Procurement / Program Name Electronic Death Registration System
Contractor Name(s) Documentation Strategies
Contract Period August 3, 2015 – March 31, 2017
Contract Number(s) C030266