Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) have reached an agreement on terms of a contract for DynaLIFE Medical Labs to deliver community laboratory services across the province, beginning July 1, 2022.
Contracting community lab services to DynaLIFE is expected to generate savings aligned with estimates in the AHS Review – money that can be used to support other priorities and services across the healthcare system.
“Contracting routine community lab work to DynaLIFE will enhance service for Albertans and generate cost savings that can be used to support other priorities and services across the healthcare system,” says Minister of Health Jason Copping. “Partnering with DynaLIFE is an innovative solution that will build upon the success of Alberta’s provincially integrated lab system, which has proven to be one of the best of its kind in North America and is critical to providing high quality patient diagnosis and treatment across the healthcare spectrum.”
Approximately 65 per cent of provincial lab work, or 50 million tests per year, is generated from the community and will be delivered by DynaLIFE under contract to AHS. The contract will include operating patient service centres and mobile collection facilities in urban centres and large rural communities including Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Brooks, Lloydminster, Camrose, Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, Strathmore, Leduc, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, St. Albert and Stoney Plain.
The agreement will see DynaLIFE invest in significant upgrades and expansion of patient service centres in communities including Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie. They will also invest in much-needed improvements to leased hub lab facilities in Calgary and Edmonton.
DynaLIFE has provided high-quality community lab service in Edmonton and several communities in AHS’s North Zone for more than 25 years. They will continue to provide service in these communities, and will begin providing lab service in cities and towns across the rest of the province under a new contract that will begin on July 1, 2022. DynaLIFE was selected as the preferred private-sector partner to provide community lab service through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) process and subsequent negotiations that took place throughout 2021.
“We are proud and very excited to build on our experience serving Albertans and bring our patient-centred focus to new communities across the province,” says DynaLIFE’s President and CEO Jason Pincock. “We look forward to working with AHS and APL on our plans that include much-needed upgrades and expansion of patient service centres and laboratory testing facilities in many of Alberta’s largest and fastest-growing communities.”
DynaLIFE will also be responsible for laboratory testing of all community and non-urgent hospital lab work across the province.
In order to ensure that small rural and remote communities continue to receive the service they need, hospital and community health sites that currently handle less than 25,000 community blood test collections per year will continue to be provided by APL.
“Alberta Precision Laboratories will play a key role in ensuring all quality and service level requirements in the contract are being met by DynaLIFE,” says Mauro Chies, Vice President Cancer Care and Clinical Support Services, Alberta Health Services. “At the same time, APL will continue providing lab service at our acute care hospitals, along with the specialized lab testing, research and innovation that is critical to Alberta’s provincial lab system, such as the COVID-19 testing program that has been a pillar of our pandemic response.”
Final negotiations for a contract and detailed planning will now begin to ensure an orderly transition of staff and facilities from APL to DynaLIFE starting on July 1.
No job losses are anticipated as a result of the transition process, as DynaLIFE has agreed to assume all unionized, non-unionized and medical-scientific staff under existing collective agreements (where applicable) and provide the same, or similar, terms and conditions of employment as existing prior to the transfer.
More details will be provided to staff and community stakeholders in the coming weeks and months.