Connect Care Launch: Must-read information

October 16, 2019

Dr. Christine Molnar

Dear Members:

On November 3, Alberta Health Services will launch the first wave of Connect Care in the Edmonton Zone. Supported by a fully integrated clinical information system, Connect Care will consolidate the patient’s story, including goals, problems, plans, investigations, treatments and all prior AHS health records. Connect Care is the AHS record of care.

There will be nine implementation waves in total, starting in the Edmonton Zone. See the information at the bottom of this email for a list of the affected sites and links to AHS resources for physicians in those locations and elsewhere.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IMPORTANT PRACTICE INFORMATION

    1. If you work in a Wave 1 AHS facility where Connect Care is the record of care, you must have completed Connect Care training and demonstrated basic proficiency by November 3 in order to provide care in that facility.
    2. If you work outside the Wave 1 AHS locations, AHS advises that providers ordering laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging and other interventions will be given new Connect Care Identifiers (IDs) to use when ordering. These identifiers will be mailed to all impacted Alberta providers this month. They are already being incorporated into electronic medical records. Use of Connect Care IDs will be phased-in as laboratory integration expands throughout Alberta.

This is one of the largest – if not the largest – health information technology transformations in the country. The potential for positive changes in our health care system is substantial. Connect Care will enhance information integration and will change the way AHS staff and physicians do their jobs. Patients and families will have access to their own health information.

A recent survey within the AMA’s albertapatients.ca, indicated 88% of patients said information is important to integrated health care in Alberta. Patients want engagement in the system and in their own care.

Both AHS and non-AHS physicians need to be aware of Connect Care. I encourage all physicians to get informed via the resources AHS has provided. As a profession, we need to be prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities and understand the challenges that this new system presents.

Given the size of the Connect Care initiative, we know that there will be challenges. Rarely does something this big, and complex, come off without a hitch. Some key questions will need to be answered. For example, how will provider workflows and productivity be impacted? Is support being made available to assist providers in the transition? AHS has resources specifically for physicians to make implementation and deployment a success.

I am interested in your feedback about the transition and the new system, but also recognize that specific issues and questions may be best dealt with by AHS directly. If you have questions about implementation specifically, queries can be directed to the AHS Chief Medical Information Office - cmio@ahs.ca.

Please let me know what you think in the following ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org.
  • Comment publicly below 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).

In your service,

Christine P. Molnar, MD, FRCPC Nuclear Medicine
FRCPC Diagnostic Radiology
President, Alberta Medical Association


CONNECT CARE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

Connect Care Wave 1 Sites are:

EDMONTON ZONE
WALTER C. MACKENZIE CAMPUS
Aberhart Centre; Clinical Sciences Building; Kaye Edmonton Clinic; Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute; Stollery Children’s Hospital; TB
Central Services; University of Alberta Hospital; Zeidler Centre; East Edmonton Health Centre; Addiction & Mental Health Bed Management

eCLINICIAN TRANSITION
Ambulatory clinics

PORTALS
Connect Care Patient Portal;
Connect Care Provider Portal

PHARMACY & DI
Sites in: Urban and Suburban Edmonton

ALBERTA PUBLIC LABS
Sites in: Edmonton; All Edmonton Pathology; All DynaLIFE in Alberta; Cross Cancer Institute; Lab and Transfusion Medicine

Questions

  • Can be directed to the AHS Chief Medical Information Office - cmio@ahs.ca

Information about training and readiness:

For more information and community provider resources:

  • A Connect Care Bridges blog (bridges.connect-care.ca) focuses on the needs of physicians outside of Connect Care settings.
  • Other blogs (blogs.connect-care.ca) update daily with brief postings about Connect Care, user tips, emerging questions and peer-to-peer help.
  • A Connect Care website (ahs-cis.ca/ccproviderbridge) gathers documents, news and updates of interest to community physicians.
  • Other physician-oriented Connect Care resources are summarized on a one-page handout (resources.connect-care.ca) and the Connect Care physician website (connect-care.ca) is a good place to get oriented.

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