AMA continues to advocate for physician and patient interests in Connect Care rollout

May 26, 2022

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA President

Dear Members,
 
The biggest Connect Care launch to date (Wave 4) is happening on May 28, at sites in both the Edmonton and Calgary zones (for a list of specific sites that will be impacted, please visit the Connect Care Implementation Timeline). 
 
Connect Care is the clinical information system that will house all AHS medical records, prescriptions and care history at AHS facilities. While impact to physicians practicing in AHS facilities is to be expected, it’s important to remember that these systemic changes will also impact the flow of information to community physicians, and there is a risk of adverse outcomes to patients if this flow is interrupted.
 
The Non-AHS Community Provider Advisory Group was created in 2019 (prior to Wave 1) to address this gap. With representation from physician leaders, AMA staff and AHS, the advisory group is focused on identifying and addressing Connect Care impacts on community physicians prior to each launch phase.
 
Results routing has been at the forefront of discussions for the past few years, and progress has been made to resolve technical issues and provide clear communications and dedicated avenues to support community physicians. 
 
More recently, the advisory group has been focused on the challenges facing mixed context physicians (those practicing in an AHS facility and also in the community). With the support of the AMA, AHS met with the Section of Family Medicine and the Section of Rural Medicine in December 2021 to identify key challenges, and there has been work done to enhance the availability of clinical documents in the community EMRs through eDelivery.
 
As a result of these changes, family physicians will notice summative documents coming to their EMRs from Connect Care sites via eDelivery when they are listed as the Primary Care Provider. Refer to the recent communication from AHS for further details, including where to escalate related issues such as receiving reports for physicians that no longer work in your clinic.
 
While there is still work to be done toward a fully integrated solution, we are confident that progress is being made through our collaborative approach and ongoing advocacy. 
 
The Connect Care project is one of the largest – if not the largest – health information technology transformations underway in the country. Given its sheer size and scope, it’s not surprising that the implementation has been challenging. The AMA and our physician leaders will continue to advocate for the best interests of physicians and our patients within this new system.
 
For more information on the Connect Care rollout and what you need to know as community providers, stay informed by visiting Connect Care Community Provider Resources on the AHS website.
 
I am always interested to hear your thoughts and experiences, and FYI, I am part of Wave 5! Please get in touch any time in the following ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org.
  • Comment publicly on this President’s Letter (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member). 

Sincerely,

Vesta Michelle Warren, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, Alberta Medical Association

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