This Sources Sought Notice is for informational and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation or commitment by the Government at this time. This notice is intended strictly for market research. The purpose of this Sources Sought notice is to determine interest and capability of Other than Small Businesses and Small Businesses, including VIP-verified Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) prospective vendors relative to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code 339112 and its small business size standard of 1,000 employees.

The Tomah VA Medical Center located in Tomah, WI has the requirement for a unit dose packaging machine (pill packager). The Government is requesting that Other Than Small Businesses and Small Businesses, including VIP-verified VOSB or SDVOSB sources respond if it can meet the description and Statement of Work below on a brand name or equal basis (PHC Corporation of North America ATP2-320 Narrow):

CLIN
Item
Description
Qty
Unit
0001
ATP2-320 Narrow
ATP2 320 Canisters with unit dose packaging (Includes Replenishment Kit)
1
EA
0002
ATP2-320-NPU
ATP2 Narrow Lower Packaging Unit for ATP 2 (Includes 1 rolling tray and cover)
1
EA
0003
CCK
Canister Calibration Kit including the AVF-1
1
EA
0004
APS-200
Automatic spooler, 1 Tabletop Stand, 1 Rolling Stand and I case of Acrylic spools
1
EA
0005
Perl 1 (2 license)
Perl 1 (2 license) – 2 users, 2 bag/sec transport, 1.5 bags/sec C&R, spools
1
EA
0006
Cut and Roll
Perl – Cut and Roll
1
EA
0007
ACC497AJM
HEPA Vacuum for ATP Cleaning
1
EA
0008
ACCSVSPF1
HEPA Replacement Filter
1
EA
0009
Implementation – ATP Series
On site Implementation and Installation Training Package for ATP Series
1
EA
0010
Implementation – PERL
Parata Perl – Installation and Training
1
EA
0011
Implementation – PERL
On site Implementation and Training for PERL – Cut and Roll
1
EA
0012
Interface Charges – ATP series
ATP Series Equipment interface to pharmacy information system
1
EA
0013
SMA Perl
6 Month Service Agreement for Perl 1 (2 license) – Goes into effect after initial 6 Month warranty period.
1
EA
0014
SMA – PERL Cut and Roll
6 Month Service Agreement for Perl Cut and Roll – Goes into effect after initial 6 Month warranty period.
1
EA
0015
Shipping – FSS
Included
1
EA

STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW)
as of October 26, 2021

1. Contracting Officer s Representative (COR):

TBD

2. Contract Title:

Automated Unit Dose Packaging Machine (AUDPM) for Inpatient Pharmacy.

3. Background:

Pharmacy service is responsible for the safe and efficient provision of medications to Veterans in multiple clinical settings. We repackage medications as unit of use for dispensing to inpatient and clinic areas within our facility. Our current medication repackager, the FastPak EXP, is at its end of life and has required significant repair in the last 12-18 months, leading to downtime and increased utilization of personnel to manually repackage unit dose medications.

The Tomah VA Medical Center is seeking to purchase an automated unit dose packaging machine for use in the inpatient pharmacy to replace the FastPak EXP. The unit dose packaging machine will need to be able to work in conjunction with an automated medication pouch verification device for pharmacy to pursue best medication dispensing practices. Last year, we received several JPSRs related to medication packaging errors (no medication in package, multiple medications in package, wrong medication in package, etc.). Migrating from a workflow with known human error to one utilizing robotics will substantially decrease the number of events stemming from this gap.

This equipment must meet the following standards:

Automatic tablet packager with expandable capacity
Swappable lower packaging unit for onsite redundancy to eliminate downtime
Dual tray system allowing users to pre-fill or stage two trays at a time, providing continuous dispensing of non-canister medications
Graphic Printing with barcode printing being most important but also have ability to print in color, vertical, pictures, icons, logos, etc.
Ability to interface to Pyxis automated dispensing cabinets
Ability to change pouch sizes to fit different sized medications most importantly narrow unit dose packaging with additional purchase of a wide lower packaging unit
Auto-correcting motor bases preventing jams while dispensing from canisters
Reporting capabilities giving users the ability to check user metrics and run audit reports
Easy to use, cutting edge software for pouch label production and creation
Availability of optional half tablet canister dispensing capability
Vacuum for cleaning of the automated unit dose packaging machine
Hospital grade 3 prong plugs
Software will be compatible with Windows 10
On site implementation and installation training package
Equipment interface to pharmacy system
First 12-months warranty on Automated Unit Dose Packaging Machine.
Include 2 sets of service and maintenance manuals
First year s software licensing is included in initial purchase
Verification system to provide inspection on every pouch produced by the pharmacy
Verification system with intelligent, web-based inspection application that identifies existing drugs and learns new ones in seconds
Verification system to utilize two high-definition cameras for print and content side imaging of each pouch
Verification system can be set up to provide verification on narrow or wide packaging
Verification system to provide Full Batch or Daily Reports on inspection statistics
Verification system can be upgradable to a minimum of two specific processing speeds
Verification system to have an availability of an optional collation unit to automatically cut, roll, and secure pouches, then dropping the pouches into a tote for delivery
Optional collation system has the capability to separate large batches by patient, drug, med cabinet

4. Scope:

This statement of work covers the purchase, delivery, and installation of an AUDPM and its accompanying yearly service specifications. The work being done will include a quote, purchase, delivery, and warranty of the units as well as any service components required to keep the automated unit dose machine operable throughout its lifetime. The contractor shall provide support physically and remotely by providing system, technical, and software support including preventative maintenance. The contractor is responsible for supplies, install, and removal of outdated equipment. The support shall be provided 24-hour/365-day service.

5. Specific Tasks:

The Tomah VA Medical Center will be assigned a vendor project manager who will be responsible for coordinating the initial kickoff meeting and establishing regular calls to review the project plan and milestones. The due date of specific deliverables aiding in implementation and installation will be established at this initial meeting between the vendor and the facility. The kickoff meeting should be held no later than 15 days after issue of delivery order. A vendor-developed standard implementation schedule will be utilized to ensure installation is performed efficiently. The vendor will perform a pre-implementation site visit to validate equipment placement and to answer questions.

Major aspects of the pre-implementation and installation process are listed below with the device specified if not already identified in the item:

Customer contract received
Project manager introduced
Kickoff meeting scheduled
Weekly project calls scheduled
Installation timeline established
Medication usage report received
Super users for training identified
Proposed canister list reviewed
Pre-implementation site survey scheduled
Online training registration completed
Final canister order submitted
Identify canisters to be retained and to be removed
Pre-implementation site survey completed
Onsite training schedule reviewed
Network requirements reviewed
Pharmacy system test order received
Label requirements reviewed
Label design session scheduled
Medication database questionnaire completed
Required IP addresses provided
Vendor interface testing completed
Remote access method established
Canister test, fill and pin process reviewed
Medication database completed
Perl medication database reviewed and updated
Canisters shipped
Data drops and power verified and upgraded by the site if needed
Consumable ordering process reviewed
hardware setup
All canisters tested, filled and pinned
All online training courses completed
Hands-on training for go-live

Deliverables:

The vendor will deliver the equipment and provide all necessary labor, management, skills, materials, etc. required to install, train and maintain the automated unit dose packager and automated medication pouch verification device. Installation activities to include coordination with Biomedical Engineering and OI&T to ensure network connectivity.

Any necessary files created during maintenance will not be saved by the vendor. Retention of data will be on an internal VA server only. All backup data will be completed, performed and maintained by Pharmacy service.

Products to be delivered to Tomah VA Medical Center, which is physically located at 500 E. Veterans St Tomah, WI 54660 unless otherwise specified by the COR/designee.

All requested products on this transaction will be completely manufactured as specified and delivered to the jobsite no later than the earliest time feasible once the contract is awarded. The delivery of specified items should not take longer than 30 days. The vendor shall perform all work during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays) unless otherwise stipulated by the COR/designee. The warranty period will begin after go-live of the equipment.

The contractor will be responsible for the removal of the existing equipment. Tomah VA Medical Center will decide which canisters will be retained by the site and which canisters will be removed by the contractor.

The Contractor is required to wear a badge while on-station at the Tomah VAMC along with checking in and out with the COR. Services Contractor is to provide technical support, software support (including updates), PM (needs to be scheduled by the start of the contract), parts ordered and installed, and providing quality, professional communications of item(s) to troubleshoot. The Contractor is authorized to utilize VPN with required approvals from the VA Office of Information Technology to provide telecommunications and/or internet connectivity between vendor and the VA; it is required contractor s equipment is compatible with VA software and hardware, including critical patches and antivirus updates. When an issue arises, the Contractor is responsible to provide the COR time to address concerns with Biomed, OIT, or other Tomah staff involved. The equipment is required to be fully functional at all times. Contractor is responsible to have an active National Business Associate Agreement (BAA).

The Contractor must be mindful of Inpatient Pharmacy operating hours, which may exclude the Holidays and weekends. The Inpatient Pharmacy operates Monday to Friday from 0700 to 2100 hours. During these hours, the unit needs to be fully functioning. If repairs are needed, the Contractor will communicate to the COR and/or inpatient staff to address concerns when operations are not impacted. If its urgent, the Contractor is responsible to dispatch or provide telecommunications the resolution to the problem, which includes ordering parts, install, and removal of parts repaired.

6. Performance Monitoring:

The Government is required to monitor contractor performance and certify the work that is being done at our facility, which is done accordance with the contract agreement. This monitoring is completed by the COR with compliance from the contract. The COR will do random inspections of the equipment to ensure functioning as well as to have a third-party inspection completed during those inspections. The contract will require the company to provide dates when annual maintenance is being conducted, in order to schedule with the Pharmacy staff. It is critical to ensure the equipment is operational at all times and it s important for communication to be upheld between the vendor, COR, CO, staff, and anyone involved, which will establish how well the contractor is performing and identify areas to improve. This will implement any support needed to ensure quality performance for the contract is met. The contract will report to the COR when services are done physically before and after to ensure services are performed to standards and to its agreement.

The company will supply 24/7 telephone support 365 days per year provided by trained client support engineers, remote diagnostics including patches, software downloads and unlimited support requests. Company will supply onsite support by trained client support engineers when telephone support cannot solve the issue and/or in the instance an emergency issue occurs, and patient care is compromised. Company s employees and/or subcontractors should possess skills and administrative privileges for installation, setup and maintenance services.
Prior to the go-live, we will require the following from contractors in order to monitor progress and ensure compliance:

Weekly status report
Weekly meetings
Monthly progress report
Project Management Team meetings
Program reviews
Outlines and drafts

7. Security Requirements:

The contractor and all those involved in supporting the contract either physically and/or remote contact are subject to the same investigative requirements as those of VA appointees or employees who have access to the same information. The level and process of such investigations are in accordance with VA Directive and Handbook 0710, Personnel Suitability and Security Program. Each contract is required to sign in when performing work physically and sign out when work is being concluded. The contractor must wear a company badge while conducting services as well as appropriate clothing and shoes. Those technical or physical access to VA information and VA information systems for designated personnel are requested access to the extent necessary to perform functions specified in the contract, agreement, or task order. If a modification needs to be required, the contractor and COR will communicate to the CO for a remedy.

Development, management operation and security of a connection between the unit dose system and company is required for functionality. National Memorandum s of Understanding may be established or may need to be amended to connect new equipment.

8. Other Pertinent Information or Special Considerations:

a. The contractor is required to be respectful towards Tomah VAMC staff, patients, and visitors always. When there is a conflict, the COR will communicate to the CO.

b. Identification of Potential Conflicts of Interest (COI): Any situation that may influence which contractor should be awarded the contract. An organizational COI is a situation where because of other relationships or activities a person (company) is unable or potentially unable to render impartial assistance or advice to the Government or cannot objectively perform contract work or has an unfair competitive advantage. FAR 9.502 states that an organization COI may result when factors create an actual or potential conflict of interest on an instant contract, or when the nature of the work to be performed on the instant contract creates an actual or potential COI on a future acquisition. An organizational COI exists when the nature of the work to be performed may, without some restriction on future activities, (1) result in an unfair competitive advantage to the contractor or (2) impair the contractor s objectivity in performing the contract work. In services contracts, it is the latter which may most often occur because of a contractor s access to proprietary information, the evaluation and analysis of products which it may produce, and/or its role as an advocate in contract performance or other situations. The primary burden is on the contractor to identify any organizational COI; however, the Government has the responsibility to identify and evaluate such conflicts. The Contracting Officer is charged with avoiding, neutralizing or mitigating such potential conflicts. It is the customer s responsibility to determine that no organizational COI exists. This is because the customer is more familiar with its requirements and the history of the requirements than the Contracting Officer could ever be. Therefore, the customer must decide that no COIs exist, or identify any potential COI that may exist prior to the execution of this contract.

c. Packaging, Packing and Shipping Instructions: Contractor shall send upgraded machine, provide supplies for mailing materials and/or sending labels to return products in a safe and acceptable manner.

d. Inspection and Acceptance Criteria: The COR, contractor, and The Chief of Pharmacy is responsible to certify work is done under the contract agreement and performed in time and to standard. When services are completed, a report must be sent to the COR.

10. Risk Control: Not applicable.

11. Place of Performance:

Tomah VAMC, Inpatient Pharmacy 500 East Veterans Street, Tomah, WI 54660. Bldg. 406, Room 1660.

12. Delivery Schedule:

SOW Task#
Deliverable Title
Format
Number
Calendar Days After Contract Start
1
Hospital Design
A003/DI-MGMT-80347
Standard Distribution*
Draft – 15
Final – 30
2
Monthly Status Report
Contractor-Determined Format
2 Copies to COR; Letter Only to CO
Monthly, on 5th Workday
3
Commissioning Report
Contractor-Determined Format
Standard Distribution*
180
4
Continue as needed
to document all deliverables

* Standard Distribution: 1 copy of the transmittal letter without the deliverable to the Contracting Officer shall be
Emailed.

SOW Task# – State the task from Paragraph 5 of the SOW that requires this deliverable.
Deliverable Title – State the title of the deliverable (e.g., Assessment Report, Integration Plan).
Format – You may either provide Government-specified format or contractor-determined format. If no format is specified for a deliverable, that item will be delivered in contractor-determined format.
Number – If you require a number of copies over and above that shown in the standard distribution, specify in this column (e.g., one electronic copy in Microsoft Word Office 2000 Version and one hard copy ).
Calendar Days After Contract Start – For items that have a frequency, state the appropriate frequency (e.g., monthly on the 10th work day, or 10 calendar days after draft plan approved. Do Not use as required as a deliverable due date).

Interested Other Than Small Businesses and Small Businesses including VIP-verified VOSBs and SDVOSBs are required to submit an e-mail delineating:

Qualifications, capabilities, and experience for providing this product;
Business size/Socioeconomic status;
Manufacture location;
If the product is on the Federal Supply Schedule or the Open Market; and
Memo or correspondence which authorizes distributor to distribute the manufacturer s products (if applicable).
This is not a Request for Proposal or an announcement of a solicitation and no solicitation currently exists. Your responses will be used solely for market research purposes of the Government. The Government will not pay for any materials provided in response to this notice and submissions will not be returned to the sender. VOSBs and SDVOSBs must be registered and verified in VIP for set-aside consideration.

Responses are to be submitted by e-mail to Jim Hedman at james.hedman2@va.gov. The information requested must be received no later than 12:00 p.m. CDT on 11/9/2021.