2019-10-17

Results and Reports Routing - Multisite

Prescribers who order laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging (DI) and other interventions from more than one practice location (site) will need to understand how the associated results and reports are returned for their review once the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) is implemented.

We previously posted answers to questions for prescribers who use a single Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in a single practice location; a relatively straightforward use-case.

A new FAQ addresses more complicated information flows, such as those affecting physicians who work with more than one EMR, more than one practice location or a mix of EMR(s) and the Connect Care CIS.

2019-09-28

Netcare Upgrade - October 10, 2019 - Note Anticipated Changes

The Alberta Netcare Portal electronic health record continues as a major hub to electronically share health information among authorized providers throughout Alberta. Netcare benefits from the integration that Connect Care brings to lab and diagnostic imaging services, as reflected in changes  scheduled for October 10, 2019.



Additional information is available online and questions can be directed to albertanetcare@ahs.ca.

2019-09-10

Connect Care Results and Reports Routing

The Non-AHS Community Physician Advisory Group (NACPAG) has been busy working through anticipated Connect Care impacts on test results and reports routing to ordering providers.

Two communication aids emerge. The first, posted here, answers questions for prescribers who use a single Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in a single practice location; a relatively straightforward use-case. eDelivery of results and reports to the EMR is maintained. Indeed, it is improved in many ways. There are changes to identifiers added to laboratory requisitions which are important for physicians to prepare for. An "eDelivery Frequently Asked Questions" is linked below and will be sequentially posted to this blog.

A second FAQ will address more complicated information flows, such as those affecting physicians who work with more than one EMR, more than one practice location or a mix of EMR(s) and the Connect Care CIS. Coming soon.

For now, please promote this blog and widely circulate the FAQ:

2019-08-08

Connect Care supports for Community Physicians


Alberta Health Services (AHS) partners with the Alberta Medical Association, the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Alberta College of Family Physicians to ensure that all physicians, including those not implementing Connect Care, are kept up-to-date about Connect Care developments that could affect them and their patients.

A Connect Care Bridges blog (bridges.connect-care.ca) focuses on the needs of physicians outside of Connect Care settings. 

A general-interest blog (bytes.connect-care.ca) posts daily with brief updates about health informatics topics of interest to physicians. 

A Connect Care website (ahs-cis.ca/ccproviderbridge) gathers in one place 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 (md.connect-care.ca) is a good place to get oriented.

Email inquiries from providers not anticipating use of Connect Care as their record of care can be directed to ccproviderbridge@ahs.ca.

2019-08-07

How will Connect Care relate to Electronic Medical Records?

Alberta Health Services (AHS) strives to support the information sharing needed by the patient’s entire healthcare team, within and without Connect Care.

The electronic medical records (EMRs) relied upon by healthcare providers outside Connect Care settings must not be negatively impacted as Connect Care rolls out. Instead, the clinical information system (CIS) should expand opportunities for safe and effective information sharing. There are a number of ways for external systems to leverage the benefits of Connect Care.

A continuing eDelivery service brings laboratory test results, diagnostic imaging reports and other important information to EMRs in ways that allow the right information to be correctly placed in the right chart. Connect Care will make eDelivery easier by standardizing and simplifying the source for much of this information. Physicians currently receiving any form of eDelivery will be able to access a wider range of tests, reports and notifications as Connect Care rolls out. This is facilitated by AHS and the EMR vendors, so there is no need for physicians to request any expansion of eDelivery services. Physicians new to or seeking eDelivery can learn more online.

The Central Patient Attachment Registry (CPAR) and Community Integration Initiative (CII), are joint undertakings of Alberta Health, the Alberta Medical Association, and AHS; allowing EMRs to send and receive standardized summaries of patient needs with the Alberta Netcare provincial electronic health record. In time, Connect Care will also interface to CII and both draw from and contribute to CPAR data.

2019-08-06

How will Connect Care Relate to Netcare?

Alberta's provincial Electronic Health Record, Netcare, aggregates key health information for all Albertans and makes it available to authorized providers.

Netcare will gain from Connect Care health information services. A wider range of standardized information, conveniently sourced from a single clinical information system (CIS) will facilitate easier tabulation and graphing of test information from all parts of Alberta. Additionally, new categories of information will become available to authorized providers. For example, work is underway to improve the range and consistency of emergency visit summaries delivered, in a standardized way, to Netcare.

2019-08-05

How will Connect Care be felt outside Connect Care?

A variety of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) facilitate primary and specialty healthcare where Connect Care is not the record of care. These physicians, clinics and networks will continue to manage the health information for the services they provide. Naturally, these physicians also wonder how the advent of Connect Care might affect their current and future opportunities for informational, relational and knowledge continuity.

Connect Care can positively impact non-Connect Care settings in a number of ways:
  • Alberta's provincial Electronic Health Record, Netcare, which aggregates key health information and makes it available to authorized providers, is improved when Connect Care deploys because it gains a wider range of information from a single, standards-based, CIS source.
  • "eDelivery" of health information from Connect Care and Netcare to EMRs is improved because a single CIS makes more information in a more consistent format easier for EMRs to capture and organize.
  • New "Community Information Integration" (CII) and a "Central Patient Attachment Registry" (CPAR) initiatives jointly allow patients to be linked to a medical home, and for that home to share information with Netcare; extending sharing to include Connect Care as it rolls-out.
  • A Connect Care Provider Portal provides access to the information that non-Connect Care prescribers need while also facilitating communication, notifications, referral and consultation, ordering and contributing to the Connect Care record.
Working together, Alberta's CIS, EHR, EMR, CII and CPAR help to defragment the health information space; bringing continuity to Albertans' experience of healthcare.


2019-08-04

When does Connect Care launch?

Connect Care is a 5-year initiative with a 3-year deployment timeline, completing in 2022. Roll-out is organized around a sequence of 9 waves, with the first wave launching November 2019.
Wave 1 brings Connect Care to:
  • Edmonton Zone Walter C. MacKenzie Campus (University Hospital, Mazinkowsky Heart Institute, Stollery Children’s Hospital, etc.)
  • All clinics currently using the eCLINICIAN clinical information system.
  • East Edmonton Health Centre
  • All pharmacy, imaging, and public lab services associated with the above.
  • Cross Cancer Institute laboratories
  • Large segments of Alberta Public Laboratories
Wave 2 is scheduled for launch in March 2020. It will encompass Red Deer and many rural communities in Central Alberta, and urgent care sites in Calgary Zone. A broad overview of the Connect Care implementation waves continues to be updated online.


2019-08-03

Where is Connect Care the Record of Care?

Starting November 2019, Connect Care will be implemented wherever AHS has responsibility for the record or care or has been contracted to provide health information services. Presently, this includes:

Hospitals
AHS Operated Clinics
AHS Operated Continuing Care facilities
Cancer Centres
Addiction & Mental Health
Homecare
Public Health
Calgary Laboratory Services locations
Alberta Public Laboratories
Non-AHS practices and clinics supported by AHS information services.
CapitalCare
Carewest
DynaLIFE locations
Covenant Health

The Connect Care clinical information system is designed to serve primary and all specialty care in all settings for all ages across the continuum of care.

2019-08-02

What is Connect Care?

Connect Care is an Alberta Health Services (AHS) initiative that bridges information gaps, healthcare teams and patient needs. The foundation of Connect Care is a provincial clinical information system (CIS). This uses Epic software to integrate complementary systems into a coherent record that spans the continuum of care. Connect Care will replace most of the 1,300 health information systems currently in place across AHS and affiliated organizations, simplifying health information access while preserving the patient story.

Connect Care will improve patient and provider experiences by promoting informational continuity wherever Connect Care is the record of care. Parallel work to align health processes and practices improves relational (communication & collaboration) and knowledge (goals & guidance) continuity. And better connections to Alberta’s provincial electronic health record (Netcare) and community electronic medical records (EMRs) will strengthen information exchange where Connect Care is not the record of care.

While the intent is clinical improvement, reduction in the number and diversity of health information systems will also limit information technology expenditures.

2019-08-01

Connecting for Continuity

Continuity of Care is about a patient and provider healthcare experience that is coherent, connected, coordinated and consistent with patient goals.

Connect Care will go a long way towards bringing continuity to healthcare in Alberta. Its integrated clinical information system (CIS) will replace most of the >1,300 health information systems currently in place across Alberta Health Services (AHS) and affiliated organizations. When fully implemented in late 2022, the CIS will be used by all providers where AHS is accountable for the record of care.

A variety of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) facilitate primary and specialty healthcare where Connect Care is not the record of care. Without ways to bridge these information spaces (CIS and EMR), continuity is broken.

One bridge is provided by Alberta's provincial Electronic Health RecordNetcare, which aggregates key health information and makes it available to authorized providers. Netcare is improved when Connect Care deploys because it gains a wider range of information from a single, standards-based, CIS source.

Another bridge is provided through "eDelivery" of health information from Connect Care and Netcare to Alberta EMRs. This too is improved with Connect Care. More information in a more consistent format is easier for EMRs to capture and organize.

Two new initiatives promise even better connections. AHS, the Alberta Medical Association and Alberta Health are promoting two-way health information sharing between EMRs and Netcare through "Community Information Integration" (CII) and a "Central Patient Attachment Registry" (CPAR). These allow patients to be linked to a medical home, and for that home to share information with Netcare. The CII will extend sharing to include the CIS in 2020 and CPAR will both inform and be informed by what happens where Connect Care is the record of care.

Working together, Alberta's CIS, EHR, EMR, CII and CPAR help to defragment the health information space; bringing continuity to Albertans' experience of healthcare.