Appendix A: Definitions

Any words or phrases used in this document are intended to promote understanding and may not include the full legal definition of the term as defined in Government Acts or other legal documents.

  • Alberta Health:
    The ministry of the Alberta Government responsible for administering the Alberta health care system.
  • Alberta Health Services (AHS):
    The provincial health authority responsible for overseeing the planning and delivery of health supports and services to Albertans.
  • Alberta Medical Association (AMA):
    A professional association of physicians in Alberta.
  • Application Service Provider (ASP):
    Hosting an electronic medical record system from an approved central data center. Data and EMR application software is hosted offsite and not within the clinic.
  • Clinic:
    A building, facility or physical or virtual space where a clinic organization provides health services to patients.
  • Clinic organization:
    A medical practice involving one or more physicians or allied health professionals practicing as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, general partnership, corporation, professional corporation, joint venture or other legal entity and where the context requires, includes employees or contractors of the clinic organization.
  • Data migration:
    The process of moving a significant volume of data elements from one electronic medical record system to another, often in an effort to maintain the continuity of care.
  • Electronic medical record (EMR):
    An electronic information record of clinical encounters maintained by a health care provider in an electronic information system.
  • Electronic medical record solution (EMR solution):
    All components provided by a qualified service provider (EMR vendor) to implement and operate a primary care information system providing billing, scheduling and electronic medical record functionality including interoperability within Netcare. It includes all necessary hardware, software, data center hosting (for applications and data), connectivity, service, support and training.
  • Eligible costs:
    EMR costs which may be reimbursed to physicians by the AMA in accordance with the program's procedures.
  • Health services:
    A service provided by a physician to a patient intended to protect, promote or maintain physical or mental health, prevent illness, diagnose or treat illness, or rehabilitate and includes, but is not limited to, Insured Services (as defined in the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act).
  • Health Information Act (HIA):
    An act of the Alberta legislature governing an individual's right to request access to health records in the custody or under the control of the custodians, while providing custodians with a framework within which they must conduct the collection, use and disclosure of health information. The act also covers the actions of affiliates.
  • Invoice-based reimbursement:
    The mechanism by which the AMA repays the physician for the program's defined portion of the contracted vendor pricing amount.
  • Locum tenens:
    A physician who substitutes temporarily for another physician, as defined in the Alberta Health Physician Resource Guide.
  • Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC):
    The commissioner is an officer of the legislature, independent from government, and is responsible for monitoring the administration of the Health Information Act (HIA), as well as educating health services providers and the public about the HIA. The office also oversees other privacy legislation.
  • Physician:
    A medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in Alberta.
  • Privacy impact assessment (PIA):
    A due diligence exercise, in which a custodian responsible for collecting, using and disclosing health information identifies, analyzes and addresses potential privacy risks that may occur in the course of a clinic's operations. PIAs assist custodians in reviewing the impact that new programs, systems and practices may have on individual patient privacy and ensure that changes are evaluated to be compliant with the Health Information Act.
  • Qualified service provider (QSP):
    A designation assigned to the three electronic medical record vendors selected through the Alberta Health and Wellness Request for Proposal - POSP EMR Pre-Qualification.
  • Vendor Compliance and Usability Requirements (VCUR):
    A set of functional, technical, security and privacy requirements for an electronic medical record solution developed through a process of stakeholder consultation led by the Physician Office System Program.

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.