Provincial Clinical Guidance Available Online

Healthcare providers and patients can find the latest Alberta Health Services (AHS) clinical guidance and standards via a Clinical Knowledge Viewer on Insite. Clinical guidance is about how to provide the best possible care in AHS settings, drawing upon the work of Strategic Clinical Networks, Clinical Knowledge & Content Management (CKCM) and other sources. The Viewer includes summaries of new and updated guidelines, standards, pathways and other decision supports.

The CKCM team helps gather evidence-informed clinical guidance so it can be rendered for inclusion in the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). By embedding information about what works in the CIS, AHS teams can put knowledge to work when they need it most. The same guidance can inform current  workflows while transitioning to Connect Care.

Over the past three months alone, the CKCM team has engaged with 1,235 clinicians, 480 physicians and 117 clinical working groups to develop provincial clinical guidance optimized for AHS settings. CKCM collaborates with clinical operations, Strategic Clinical Networks, provincial clinical services and content experts across Alberta so that healthcare professionals help one another to improve care.

Visit the Clinical Knowledge Viewer to see all available guidance and standards or contact the CKCM group for more information.


Connect Care Non-Production Environment Ready

The new Acheson Data Centre now upgrades Alberta Health Services with two separate data centres in Edmonton and in two in Calgary. Among other mission-critical health information assets,  the complete non-production Epic 2017 system has been deployed in preparation for the planned Epic 2018 upgrade in March of this year. This pre-implementation environment supports all Connect Care design and build activities. It also provides a location where newly certified configuration teams can ready workflows and content designed for a full production environment nearer to go-live in 2019.


Connect Care Patient Portal

Connect Care will help Alberta Health Services (AHS) provide better care to patients and families. Better care is promoted when patients are empowered, participate in decision-making, connect plans to goals, and share responsibility for health outcomes. Accordingly, AHS commits to deploying patient-centred health information services as a core Connect Care offering. A Connect Care Patient Portal, part of the integrated health record, facilitates seamless health care.

The CC Patient Portal uses Epic's "MyChart" software, customized to the needs of Alberta's patients and families. This software has been piloted in the Edmonton Zone in family medicine and specialist clinics. Well received by patients and clinicians alike, the patient portal has improved appointment scheduling, streamlined clinic communications and even prevented unnecessary emergency visits.
A more advanced version, with more functions enabled, will be offered to all Albertans served by AHS, likely within the early years of the Connect Care journey. It will help patients and families manage all AHS interactions and will facilitate care during and between encounters.

Follow the links for more information. A portals committee oversees the Patient Portal design and deployment and welcomes input from interested providers and patients.


Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association - Connect Care Event

All physicians and trainees in the Edmonton Zone; mark your calendars for March 1, 2018 from 1630 to 1830. The EZ Medical Staff Association in partnership with the Departments of Medicine and Surgery and the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, hold a Connect Care kick-off event to include presentations, demonstrations, and discussion followed by wine and cheese. The presentation will focus on what clinicians want from Connect Care.

For more information:


What is Connect Care Clinical System Design?

Clinical System Design (CSD) is the process for planning, selecting, designing and building clinical content in the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) to support patient care. It is one of the major activities taking place during the design phase of the Connect Care initiative, together with Groundwork, Direction-Setting, Adoption and Validation. Clinical content refers to the documentation, decision and inquiry support tools that are built into the CIS to support best possible practice.

Clinical documentation includes things like templates, flowsheets, forms and questionnaires.
Clinical decision support tools are of five types: references, reminders, alerts, assists and guides. Assists include calculators, decision rules and order sets. Guides include pathways, plans of care and guides to best practice.
Clinical inquiry support tools include chronic disease registries, key performance indicators, and in-system analytics that help users answer questions about personal or system performance.


Connect Care Direction Setting 1 Finishes Well!

The first of three direction setting conferences concluded today, with excellent results and feedback.

A warm thank you to all participants for taking time in from busy schedules to attend and contribute. It can be exceptionally difficult to protect so much time on such short notice. Some will have begged colleagues to cross-cover: please extend our thanks to them. Others will have had the inconvenience of changed clinic, attending or procedure arrangements. Again, extended thanks.

Having so many clinicians active in early Connect Care build activities has been invaluable. Trust that “parking lot” content will find its way to Connect Care Committees, Councils, Workgroups and future direction-setting, validation and clinical system design sessions. Please reach with questions or recommendations.

AHS is most grateful for all the interest in and support for this transformative project. Reposted here is our CEO's Vlog marking the launch of Connect Care build.


Connect Care Provider Portal

With word (and excitement) getting out about the start of Connect Care design and build, physicians not using Alberta Health Services (AHS) digital health records wonder about how they can follow how their patients are served by AHS. These and many other needs will be served by the Connect Care Provider Portal. This will connect community providers to the Connect Care clinical information system, allowing them to request consults, schedule appointments, place orders, and exchange secure messages with colleagues, patients and patients' circle of care. They will receive notifications and view updates about lab, imaging, test and procedure results; admissions, transitions and discharges; referrals and consultations; clinical images and scanned files; notes, letters and documents and orders placed by other providers.

Follow the links for more information. A portals committee oversees the Provider Portal design and deployment and welcomes input from interested providers.


Connect Care Kick-off

More than 2,400 Alberta Health Services (AHS) staff, physicians and volunteers gathered in Edmonton today for the first of three Direction Setting sessions. The event also gave opportunity to celebrate the start of the Connect Care journey. We were thrilled to have deputy minister of health Milton Sussman and AHS CEO Verna Yiu ground our efforts with a strong sense of purpose and value.

A massive conference, with countless sessions intricately streamed, the true impact may have less to do with direction setting and more to do with direction sharing. One feels that AHS has matured as a provincial organization, fully able to rally around a common intent and shared commitment. There will be many challenges along the way -- and success is far from assured -- but today one felt fuel for progress!

One of our Fort McMurray colleagues, Dr. Mayank Singal, captured the spirit well:
“We’re on the first day of the Direction Setting sessions, and it was a very encouraging and exciting morning. And I am amazed by the potential that we have here. I really do believe that in 5 to 10 years from now we will have the most amazing infrastructure in Canada, and perhaps the world.”


Why does Connect Care matter?

The foundation of Connect Care is a clinical information system (CIS) that will transform how we use and access information. Building the CIS is a huge undertaking. Ten build principles - about how CIS design should reflect, not set, our values - emerged from extensive stakeholder consultation. Theses are summarized in a document and explained in the presentation below.


What is Connect Care Groundwork?

Groundwork occurs during the first phase (year 1) of Clinical Information System (CIS) implementation. It is a major Connect Care activity, alongside Direction-Setting, Validation and Clinical System Design.

Groundwork is about discovery. Groundwork analysis helps Epic get to know Alberta Health Services (AHS) and how its goals set the scope and expectations for a CIS. The Groundwork process reciprocally helps AHS explore Epic capabilities, so that early decisions can be made about where the CIS will enable existing practices and where it will be designed for post-transformation practices.

Groundwork is also about commitment. Groundwork decisions, primarily made by Connect Care leadership, recognize requirements for success, define Connect Care's scope, empower oversight structures, affirm decision-making principles, and set bounds for the CIS foundation build.