The American Society of Dermatopathology

Request for Proposals:‎ Whole Slide Imaging Service‎ Provider

The American Society of Dermatopathology is seeking qualified vendors to scan glass slides as they are ‎added to the society’s digital image library for Internet access and use in its numerous educational ‎programs.‎

The Virtual Slide Library Committee has evaluated and selected the PathPresenter platform as the ‎standard slide image viewer technology for the Society and is currently in the process of transitioning all ‎of the Society’s whole slide images (WSI) to this platform. PathPresenter is able to display whole slide ‎images received in a variety of formats; ‎however, for the ‎purposes of the ASDP Virtual Slide Library ‎SVS file format is ‎preferred, NDPI format is acceptable. ‎Any WSI service must be able to produce ‎images ‎that can be viewed by this software, without loss of ‎search, navigation, or other ‎functional ‎attributes.‎

Project Overview
The goal of this project is to achieve a service agreement for the delivery of cost-effective, high-quality ‎whole slide imaging service for the American Society of Dermatopathology. ‎

It is anticipated that a service agreement will be signed between the Society and the successful vendor or ‎vendors. These service agreements will not be exclusive, but subject to ongoing satisfactory ‎performance. It is anticipated that most or all WSI from the Society will be directed to one preferred ‎vendor.‎

The following is a breakdown of typical slide scanning needs per year:‎

Diagnostic Quality Online Self-Assessments:   40 slides
Evening Slide Symposium at Annual meeting:    20 slides
Essentials of Dermatopathology Course Online Exam:   50 slides
MOC Online Self-Assessments:   50 slides
Self-Assessment at annual meeting: 100 slides
Case of the Month    25 slides
Total:   285 slides
Slides for imaging may be sent from a variety of sources including the ASDP home office, program ‎committee, and other committees preparing educational material. All slides and images should be ‎returned by a traceable delivery system (FedEx, UPS or USPS Priority Mail) to the Society headquarters or other specified ‎destination. ASDP will pay for the shipping costs.‎
To ensure HIPAA compliance, images must not include the slide label. Instead, file names should ‎include program name, contributor and diagnosis ‎(to be supplied by ASDP)‎ to ensure accurate ‎cataloging. Images will be transferred by WeTransfer or transported via shippable portable hard drives ‎‎(to be supplied by ASDP). Copies of the original scanned images will be maintained by the vendor until ‎successful receipt by ASDP has been confirmed. The average file size of a whole slide image is ‎expected to be approximately 800 MB to ‎‎1.2 GB depending on file type, size of scanned specimen and ‎image compression.‎
Proposals are due on the date specified below. All proposals will be reviewed to make sure they meet all the ‎requirements, i.e., "are responsive." All responsive proposals will be scored by the selection criteria as listed ‎on the response form below. The top three proposal will be evaluated by the proposal team to select the ‎winning bidder and an alternate.
Selection Criteria
  • Proven expertise and experience
    • Candidates must document their experience and competence in whole slide imaging;‎
    • Experience handling potentially HIPAA/PHI sensitive data in the form of slide numbers or ‎names on slides must be documented;‎
    • Data on instrument(s) used, staffing numbers and training, number of slides scanned, clients ‎scanned for and any other data to indicate expertise is required;‎
    • The name and contact information of the person primarily responsible for performing the ‎scanning should be provided;‎
    • Three references must be submitted, including their contact information.‎
  • Guaranteed turnaround time
    • Respondents should state a reasonable turnaround time that they can meet. This should be from ‎the time of receipt of a package of slides and shippable hard drive to transmission of a ‎return package to ASDP or its appointed hosting site or image transfer via WeTransfer.‎
    • Respondents should indicate the amount of advanced notice needed to prepare for a new ‎scanning job.‎
  • Image quality
    • Demonstration of scan quality may be requested by the ASDP prior to signing an ‎agreement;‎
    • Slides may need to be cleaned by surface wipe only prior to scanning, but should not require re-‎cover-slipping, restaining or any other manipulation at scanning site;‎
    • Slides unsatisfactory for scanning should be returned with information on reason for failure to ‎scan provided;‎
    • Images should be scanned with a 40x objective;‎
    • Images should be in SVS or NDPI format, SVS is preferred.‎
    • If image quality is unacceptable to Society, rescanning should be done at no additional charge.‎
  • ‎ ‎Cost
    • Preference will be given to a qualified vendor with the lowest cost service. It is expected that ‎pricing should be per slide, assuming that batches of slides will range between single slides to ‎sets of 100 slides sent for scanning. ‎
    • ASDP does not wish to pay any one-time capital investments. Pricing should be set as a per ‎slide rate.‎
    • Billing should be submitted in a timely manner, no less than quarterly, to the Society.‎
  • Service agreement documentation
    • It is anticipated that a written service agreement will be signed between the Society and selected ‎vendor(s).‎
    • A business associate agreement may be necessary to ensure privacy of any health information.‎
The following is the anticipated timeline for the selection process.‎
September 1, 2021 Deadline for submitting questions
September 30, 2021     Deadline for submission of proposals
October 2021 Competitive candidates may be asked to scan demonstration slides
November 15, 2021 Successful and unsuccessful applicants notified
December 1, 2021 Service agreement prepared and signed
January 1, 2022 Vendor ready to receive first batch of slides to be imaged

Questions from Candidates to the Society
Please submit any questions for further details to ASDP at the following email address ‎[email protected]. Please note: The contents of any inquiries and the responses to them may be ‎published on the Society website to inform all candidates of the information, if the Society chooses.‎

Submission Instructions
Interested companies and institutions must complete and return the WSI RFP Response Form to [email protected] no later than 11:59 p.m. CDT on Thursday, September 30, 2021. 
This RFP is only an invitation for proposal, and no contract to or obligation on behalf of the Society ‎whatsoever shall arise from the RFP process unless and until a formal service agreement is signed ‎between the Society and successful vendor or vendors.  This RFP does not commit the Society to pay ‎any cost incurred in the preparation or submission of any proposal, or to procure or contract for any ‎services.‎
The Society reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals, to revise the RFP, to request one ‎or more proposal resubmissions or clarifications from prospective vendors, or to cancel the process in ‎part or in its entirety. ‎