All lab and DI sites and services in Alberta Health Services are now using Connect Care. Make sure all pertinent information is included on all lab, microbiology, pathology and imaging requisitions to ensure you receive your results without delay. Check out this infographic checklist to find out what is needed.
Providers in the community who order lab tests or submit specimens for testing need to take action to ensure they receive these results. If requisitions are incomplete, patients could receive results before their providers.
Every requisition given to a patient or sent with a specimen (including microbiology and anatomic pathology) needs to contain the authorizing provider’s full name, the clinic name, address, and submitter ID, plus the provider ID for the authorizing provider.
For more information see:
Connect Care Launch 6, scheduled for May 6, 2023, will include 68 urban and rural sites in North, Edmonton, Central, Calgary, and South Zones. This launch will also implement Connect Care at all laboratory services in Calgary Zone, community lab services in South Zone and the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health (ProvLab). All community providers in Alberta need to act so that laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and other investigation results and reports are delivered to your office.
How can you help?
- Know your Connect Care IDs (provideridlookup.ahs.ca)
- Use Connect Care IDs on all lab/DI requisitions
- Update AHS if contact/eDelivery information changes or providers join or leave your clinic (ahs.ca/frm-21762.pdf)
- Note: If you work at more than one clinic, courtesy copies (cc:) and some documents may only go to the default location
For more information:
- Read: Connect Care Launch 6: What Providers in the Community Need to Know about Delivery of Lab and Imaging Results
- Visit: ahs.ca/ccresultstocommunity
- For support, call 1-877-311-4300
- Have your prac ID ready
- Select option 1 (Clinical Applications), then option 1 (Connect Care)
Are you wondering how Connect Care might change the way you work? Are you wanting to be prepared with some tips and tricks that can help you be ready for the changes? Are you curious about how Connect Care will improve care transitions for primary care providers particularly if they don’t work in an AHS facility?
On March 15, 2023, AHS is hosting a webinar, Connect Care: A Primary Care Primer, open to anyone in primary healthcare. This is a good opportunity for those that are affected by the Connect Care Launch 6 (scheduled for May 6, 2023) to get practical tips, troubleshooting advice and more (see the Connect Care launch timeline for a list of zones and sites affected by Launch 6).
At the webinar, you’ll find out more about the following:
- How to set up identification codes to ensure patient results are delivered directly into your EMR
- How to get AHS support on Connect Care
- How Connect Care keeps you informed on patient discharge information and readmission risks
- How the primary care community helped design Connect Care processes
We’re also hoping to get lots of questions, so come prepared to put your hand up!
The webinar will be via Zoom, and is offered in two sessions on March 15. Click on the relevant link below to register for a particular session:
The Connect Care Launch 5, scheduled for November 6, 2022 affects sites in the Calgary and Central Zones. Physicians should be sure to use Connect Care identifiers on requisitions. This will enable undisrupted delivery of laboratory and diagnostic imaging results to community clinics.
Community providers will receive clinical documentation from Connect Care via their electronic medical record, mail and/or fax. Providers who work both within Alberta Health Services and in a community or private practice (mixed-context providers) may need to manage some unique information flows that relate to clinical documentation and results delivery.
For more detailed information, please refer to:
Connect Care Launch Sequencing Update and Identifiers on Lab Requisitions - Important information for community providers
Connect Care continues to be one of Alberta Health Services’ highest organizational priorities. Upcoming launch dates have been confirmed, as follows:
- Launch 4 - May 28, 2022: Sites in Calgary and Edmonton Zones
- Launch 5 - November 6, 2022: Sites in Calgary, Central and North Zones; some provincial programs (including Cancer Care Alberta)
- Launch 6 - Spring 2023: Calgary and provincial lab services; sites in Calgary, Edmonton and Central Zones
AHS’ executive leadership continues to monitor the situation related to managing COVID-19, and should these dates change, the information will be shared through usual AHS channels. The final implementation, Launch 9, is scheduled for Fall 2024. Connect Care is already being used in parts of the Edmonton and North Zones. Additional information about which sites are included with each Connect Care launch is available here.
All community providers in Alberta need to act so that laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and other investigation results and reports are delivered to your office. As of February 2022, Connect Care identifiers have been distributed to providers and clinics throughout Alberta, via letter mail. To confirm Connect Care IDs for providers and clinics, please visit: provideridlookup.ahs.ca.
Please start using Connect Care IDs immediately and continue to also include non-Connect Care IDs on requisitions.
Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL), DynaLIFE and AHS Diagnostic Imaging (DI) have all introduced requisitions that include space for Connect Care and other current (“legacy”) healthcare identifiers. Please use the current requisition forms (updated in 2020), and provide current identification information, legacy IDs (e.g., Millennium ID) AND new Connect Care IDs on requisitions. For more information, please see: Using Connect Care IDs on Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging Requisitions.
To facilitate results delivery, providers are also asked to maintain updated practice, demographic and clinic information with AHS using the Request for Provider/Prescriber Set-Up in Health Information Systems form.
For more information:
- Delivery of Results to Community-based Providers from Connect Care: ahs.ca/ccresultstocommunity
- Connect Care ID Look-up tool: provideridlookup.ahs.ca
- Connect Care Information for the Community: ahs.ca/ccproviderbridge
- Connect Care Information: ahs.ca/connectcare
- Resource: What Community Providers Need to Know for Connect Care Launch 5
To support continuity of care, certain summative notes are automatically sent to compatible external (community) electronic medical records (EMRs) where the authoring prescriber works in mixed-contexts. Auto-sending of Urgent Care/Emergency Department (ED) Provider’s Notes has contributed to increased information burdens for mixed context prescribers working at Urgent Care Centres.
After careful consideration, automated summative note routing is changed (12 July 2022) to exclude ED Provider Notes. Other summative notes will continue to be eDelivered to compatible EMRd of authoring providers.
This change could impact external billing workflows that leveraged auto delivery of the ED Provider Note. Recent Connect Care optimizations provide alternative workflows to support prescribers.
AHS uses a system called "eDelivery" to electronically deliver patient information to providers and physicians at their private community practices. With Connect Care Launch 4, there have been changes to the information distributed to providers. Providers who work at AHS facilities using Connect Care as well as at private clinics/offices in the community will want to understand these changes.
These changes affect the six types of Connect Care summative notes as well as results for lab, diagnostic imaging (DI) and other investigations. A memo summarizes the changes for the delivery of this information from Connect Care to community providers; the key messages are:
- All providers will receive copies of summative notes in their external electronic medical record (EMR) when they are identified as the Primary Care Provider (PCP) for a patient; sometimes you may receive information for a patient not associated with you or your clinic – you can follow up with AHS to remediate this situation.
- Authoring providers in Connect Care will receive copies of summative notes they author at AHS facilities in their external EMR.
- Mixed-context providers (working in AHS facilities as well as at private clinics/offices in the community) may receive some community DI reports twice (in their Connect Care In Basket as well as at their non-AHS locations).
- Additional information specific to DI report delivery for mixed-context providers is available in an earlier memo.
- All summative notes and results are available in Netcare.
For more information, please review the full memo:
Connect Care Wave 3 launches in less than a week, with key lab services at Alberta Health Services North Zone sites moving to Connect Care laboratory information services. This has implications for providers who do not use Connect Care as their record of care, as well as for providers in an interim state awaiting a future Connect Care launch (e.g., Cancer Care in NZ).
All affected community providers are alerted to action needed to ensure that investigation results and reports are delivered correctly. This involves:
- Use of Connect Care identifiers on requisitions
- Use of updated requisitions to order laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging
For more information:
As previously announced, Connect Care's Wave 3 launch date was moved from February 2021 to April 2021 to accommodate pandemic pressures. This, in turn, impacts the scope and timing for Waves 4, 5 and 6. These highlights reflect changes being announced today:
- There will still be nine implementation waves in total, to be completed in 2023.
- A modified Wave 3 launches April 10, 2021, primarily in the North Zone.
- Wave 4 will launch November 7, 2021, to include the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary, as well as Calgary Zone rural and urgent care sites (with aligned clinics and services), the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatric Centre, Central Production Pharmacy and all labs in the Edmonton Zone which have not already implemented Connect Care.
- Wave 5 will launch May 14, 2022, to include the west area (former David Thompson Health Region) of Central Zone, Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury in Central Zone, Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre and Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Cancer Care (and associated pharmacies), Alberta Kidney Care South, and all lab services in the rural portion of the west area of Central Zone.
- Wave 6 will launch November 6, 2022, to include Grey Nuns Hospital, Misericordia Hospital and Alberta Hospital Edmonton in the Edmonton Zone, the east area (former East Central Health Region) of Central Zone, the Rockyview General Hospital and the South Health Campus in Calgary Zone, the associated pharmacy services in Edmonton, Central and Calgary zones, lab services in the rural portions of the east area of Central Zone, and Alberta Precision Laboratories in the Calgary Zone.
- Wave 7 will launch in the spring of 2023, to include the east side of the North Zone (former Aspen and Northern Lights Health regions), the South Zone, including the stand-alone long-term care sites, and the associated pharmacy and lab services for these sites and programs.
- Details for Waves 8 and 9 are still being determined and will be shared when available.
More information about the scope and sequencing of the waves is available on an updated Wave Implementation Diagram.
It’s important to understand that future adjustments may be needed as we continue to rollout Connect Care. Patients and our healthcare teams will continue to come first in every decision we make, as we work to ensure each wave can be launched effectively and safely.
The commitment to Connect Care has not changed and its successful implementation remains an organizational priority.
The following information is provided by Alberta Health respecting some important changes to the My Health Records service:
In 2021, Albertans will be able to view more laboratory test results in "My Health Records" (MHR), the integrated access point for Albertans’ personal health information. These lab results will be viewable through the "My Personal Records" (MPR) application. This change is being made to provide Albertans with more access to their health information, and as an additional safety net for patient care within the system. These results will be viewable as soon as they are released by laboratory services:
- About 95% of the most commonly-ordered (by volume) lab test results will be viewable by Feb 1, 2021.
- All remaining lab tests, including more complex results in microbiology, pathology and genetics, will be available in MPR by July 1, 2021.
Lab results ordered from all sites in Alberta, including labs ordered during inpatient and emergency visits will be included in MPR. Once the changes are in place, new users will see an 18-month retrospective view of any lab results slated for release. Existing users will not have labs added retroactively, but they will be able to see the expanded lab results moving forward.
After the changes, patients will have immediate access to more of their own information. Providers may notice some changes in their patterns of work, and may need to consider giving patients more information about the implications of different results when initially ordering a test. Physicians and other providers will continue to have access to results information through their usual channels, including Alberta Netcare.
To support Albertans, Alberta has created the MyHealth.Alberta.ca Web site, a trusted source of health information, and MyHealth Records Support is available at 1-844-401-4016, 24 hours daily. Technical assistance is available between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (MT), Monday to Friday, but a connection to 811 for health-related inquiries, including test results, is available at all times.
For more information about lab results online, please visit:
- FAQ: MyHealth Records: Lab Results Online via My Personal Records
- List: Additional Test Results Available to MPR 31-01-2021
- Info: MyHealth Records information for Albertans
The Alberta Medical Association and Alberta Health Services will be hosting webinars for providers:
Webinar: Real Time Release of Labs to Patients: What This Means to Your Practice
Speakers: Dr. Allen Ausford, Dr. Brad Bahler, Dr. Jay Easaw, Dr. Rob Hayward, Dr. Nigel Flook
Date: Wednesday January 20, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM
Moderator: Dr. Heidi Fell, Informatics Chair, Alberta Medical Association
Date: Wednesday January 27, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM
Moderator: Dr. Stuart Rosser, Interim Chief Medical Information Officer, Alberta Health Services
Important Information for Primary Care and Community Providers related to the impact of Connect Care: Connect Care Identifiers
Connect Care will launch Wave 3 at select sites in the Calgary and North Zones on February 27, 2021. All community providers in Alberta need to take action so that laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and other investigation results and reports are delivered to your office. As soon as you receive notification from Alberta Health Services (AHS), you need to:
- Use Connect Care identifiers on requisitions
- Use updated requisitions to order laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging
If your practice uses eDelivery for electronic delivery of results to your EMR, please confirm with you EMR vendor that your new identifiers have been uploaded to your EMR. If you do not use eDelivery, new Connect Care identifiers are being distributed by mail to your clinic before the Wave 3 launch. These identifiers must be placed on updated lab and diagnostic imaging requisitions so that results are successfully routed to community practices.
Community healthcare providers continue to use their existing Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and other processes to manage patient information that is not part of the AHS record of care. Community practitioners are a huge part of any person’s care team -- thank you for learning about Connect Care and supporting patient care across Alberta.
For more information:
Contact Connect Care: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update your provider information with AHS: AHS.Provider_Requests@ahs.ca
- Use Connect Care Identifiers
- Use new requisitions to order labs and diagnostic imaging that can incorporate those identifiers
- Advise AHS of any practice location(s) change, even if short term
- Provide a preferred method for receiving results and other information from AHS and affiliated organizations
Connect Care will launch “Wave 2” at Edmonton suburban sites on October 24, 2020. Community healthcare providers continue to use their existing Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and other processes to manage patient information that is not part of the AHS record of care.
Community practitioners are a huge part of any person’s care team, and it’s vital that you have information and awareness about Connect Care and how it will support and benefit the care of your patients. To help ensure a smooth transition, regardless of wave or where you practice, to ensure ongoing delivery of laboratory and diagnostic imaging results to your office, community providers in Alberta need to:
- Use Connect Care Identifiers
- Use new requisitions to order labs and diagnostic imaging that can incorporate those identifiers
- Advise AHS if your practice location(s) change, even if short term.
- Provide your preferred method for receiving results and other information from AHS and affiliated organizations.
Waves 2 and 3 of Connect Care were temporarily delayed in March, given the significantly increased demands on our frontline physicians, staff and services, and the increased health risks our patients and healthcare teams faced due to COVID-19. While our response and management of COVID-19 continues across the province, we will be carefully and thoughtfully moving forward with preparations for the next waves of Connect Care, maintaining our ability to be flexible and ready for COVID-19 patients in the weeks and months to come, should demands change again in our province.
We have adjusted our rollout plan based on the impact of COVID-19. The launch dates for waves 2, 3, and 4 are as follows:
- Wave 2: Launch date - Saturday, October 24, 2020
- Wave 3: Launch date - Saturday, February 27, 2021
- Wave 4: Launch date - Saturday, June 5, 2021
Community practitioners are an important part of every Albertan’s care team, and your ongoing support is vital as together we move this provincial health care priority ahead. Thank you for your support.
Additional information about Connect Care activities will be shared soon. For Connect Care resources, please visit ahs.ca/ccproviderbridge, or email email@example.com.
Although the Connect Care wave 1 sites have a limited footprint, changes to support systems have far wider impact. Of greatest concern has been report of possible missing results and reports in eDelivery streams to non-Connect Care electronic medical records (EMRs).
After thorough and careful investigation, it is certain that laboratory instruments are correctly interfaced to Connect Care laboratory information systems. The right results are received without error and are correctly filed to external systems like Netcare.
However, some results and reports are delayed on their journey to the EMRs of ordering prescribers. Why?
The primary reason is uncertainty about exactly where to route the results. Legacy approaches to results routing involved many different laboratory information systems, with different physician directories. Connect Care brings a consistent and reliable prescriber registry to ensure precise results routing. Every provider has a unique identifier. This is combined with identifiers for the setting and department from where orders were initiated and results need to be returned.
Unfortunately, there are many test requisitions that still lack the correct identifiers. This forces a manual process for identifying the provider, location and EMR for routing. Critical and important results are communicated directly to avoid delay. Processes are firming up for increasing the number of old requisitions that can be routed manually without delay.
What can physicians do? The single most important corrective is to ensure that the new provincial provider, department and submitter IDs are used on all requisitions, that recurring requisitions are pulled and corrected with new ones, and that EMR vendor updates to incorporate definitive ordering identifiers have been applied.