Countdown Checklist L5, T-minus 82: Complete InfoCare (On Our Best Behaviours) Training

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers readying for launch November 6, 2022...
  • Complete InfoCare Privacy Awareness Training
This one applies to everyone. Every prescriber must complete an online self-directed eLearning module entitled "InfoCare - On Our Best Behaviours" (OOBB). This solidifies understanding about responsible behaviours when working with personal health information. 

All prescribers must complete the module. Completion is demonstrated in a final section where commitment to privacy protection is affirmed with a series of statements. Access to Connect Care is not possible without OOBB affirmation. AHS physician privileges are also contingent. 

Log in to MyLearningLink.ahs.ca (MLL) with your AHS username and password. Search the available courses using "InfoCare". Anticipate spending about 20 minutes.

Get in touch with ConnectCare.PhysicianTraining@ahs.ca if you have difficulty getting credit for course completion. Macintosh users: save time by checking our MLL Manual section and tip sheet first. These resources also explain how to use an attestation tool if MLL does not credit course completion.


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Countdown Checklist L5, T-minus 85: Bookmark Manual and Updates

Continuing our list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers readying for launch November 6, 2022...
A Connect Care Manual is available for desktop, tablet and smartphone use. The Manual summarizes essential clinical information system (CIS) information for prescribers. We keep it brief, in the spirit of clinicians helping clinicians. Details are exposed through links to Connect Care guides, tip sheets and training materials. Bookmark "manual.connect-care.ca".

The Connect Care Blogs are also worth bookmarking. Instructions for subscribing appear on all blog pages. The blogs include a general interest channel (default, "blogs.connect-care.ca") with news and updates, as well as important support information during the launch period. Other channels include:
Bookmark "blogs.connect-care.ca" and consider subscribing to one or more channels (each channel must be subscribed to separately).

It can be really useful to access the Manual and blogs on a smartphone, for easy reference when working with Connect Care. 


Countdown Checklist L5, T-minus 89: Check Alberta Referral Directory

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers readying for launch November 6, 2022...
  • Physician Registries - Check ARD 
Alberta has multiple sources of physician information. Connect Care uses these to inform a single physician registry. This is a good time for Launch 5 physicians to ensure that provincial databases have current and correct information.

The Alberta Referral Directory (ARD) is one such database. It is a secure, online listing that provides access to consultant demographics, referral guidelines and referral forms.

All physicians are encouraged to update their ARD entry, or have clinic staff take care of this for all clinic providers. ARD is incorporated into Connect Care referral workflows.


Countdown Checklist L5, T-minus 92: Consider Training Options

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers readying for launch November 6, 2022...
  • Consider Connect Care Launch 5 Training Options
While our response to COVID-19 continues across the province, we are carefully moving forward with preparations for the implementation of Connect Care Launch 5. Training activities continue, with appropriate COVID-19 awareness and precautions.

Virtual as well as in-person classes are available. In-person classes have all the necessary measures in place to offer safe training. Contingency plans are in place in the event of facility-level outbreaks. If required, all in-person training can be converted to virtual training. We remain flexible and ready for COVID-19 related change in the weeks and months to come.

Registration for Launch 5 Connect Care training remains open through MyLearningLink (mylearninglink.ahs.ca). Besides completing the training, please remember that completion of the privacy training, On Our Best Behaviours (OOBB), is also mandatory for access to Connect Care. Registration information for medical staff is provided by Zone Medical Affairs, and for nurse practitioners by Provincial NP Services.


Countdown Checklist L5, T-minus 94: Get Training

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers readying for launch November 6, 2022...
  • Get Basic Training! 
  • Reach out to colleagues who may not be registered.
Prescribers will not be allowed access to the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) unless they have completed basic training. There are no exceptions. Lack of access to the legal record of care means being unable to practice. Privileges are contingent on use of the implemented CIS. 

So, this is important. Colleagues will be inconvenienced if forced to cover for a prescriber who does not have CIS access.

First-time users of the CIS must complete an instructor-led basic training session. Launch 5 instructor-led basic training begins August 29, 2022, and registrations are filling fast.

If practicing at a Launch 5 site and still lacking information about how to register or complete basic training, contact:


Countdown Checklist L5, T-minus 96: Are you in?

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers readying for launch November 6, 2022...
  • Are you in Connect Care Launch 5? 
An obvious first checklist task is to determine whether Launch 5 tasks even apply!

For most physicians, that determination is made by Medical Affairs. Lists of clinic physicians, those with hospital privileges, visiting specialists and on-call contributors are used to generate invitations to Launch 5 physicians. Despite this, it is possible that some physicians with new site responsibilities -- and some physicians who have already trained in earlier waves -- might be missed. Physicians should check the clinics and hospitals slated for Launch 5 and be sure that they have been invited to participate if they expect to work at those sites:
For nurse practitioners (NPs), Provincial NP Services makes the determination based on HR lists. However, it is recognized that many NPs cover cross-site/-zone programs or have multiple "casual" positions; Provincial NP Services contacts all NPs and their managers directly to confirm. NPs expecting to work at a Launch 5 site who have not been contacted should email Provincial NP Services.

Other online resources can be checked for the latest information:


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Unique Workflows During Interim States

Connect Care is a fully integrated clinical information system. Nonetheless, it may depend upon other health information systems for core data while implementation progresses, launch-by-launch, across Alberta. 

Interim states occur when Connect Care interoperates with an external health information system (e.g., laboratory services, pharmacy services) that will be replaced by Connect Care functionality later. The (temporary) dependency may require workflows different from where Connect Care is fully deployed.

Considerations for prescribers are now linked in the Connect Care Clinician Manual:


Connect Care Summative Documents - Mindful Signing

All-user-bulletins highlight stumbling blocks that all prescribers need to be aware of when using the Connect Care clinical information system.

Mindful Signing of Summative Documents

Connect Care automatically shares key summative documents with the Alberta Netcare Portal electronic health record and with eDelivery-compatible electronic medical records (EMRs).

Automated sharing is triggered when an eligible note is signed (co-signed in the case of trainee-authored notes). If the same note is later edited and re-signed, a new copy is distributed to external systems. This can create a lot of work for providers using external EMRs. It is especially disruptive for community practices to sort through multiple copies of shared documents to determine which is definitive and what has changed. 

Summative document contributors should “pend” or “share” their work, saving "signing" for the most responsible prescriber after all reviews are complete. A document should be signed just once; and so shared just once.

Connect Care Launch 5, T-minus 100: Countdown Checklist

Starting a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers readying for launch November 6, 2022...
  • Bookmark Connect Care Countdown Checklist 
A countdown checklist can help prescribers to get ready for their Connect Care launch by breaking a complex undertaking into a series of simple tasks. The order is important, starting with the actions needed to do future work without hassle.

Each checklist item includes brief explanatory notes plus links to relevant tips, demonstrations, resources or guides.

Please subscribe to this blogging channel, where all checklist items are posted. You can also bookmark the checklist-only link and check in periodically.


Connect Care to Netcare: Summative Document Sharing Update

Summative documents are high-value clinical notes that organize observations and offer goal-directed assessments and plans. Included are admission history and physicals, discharge summaries, consultation reports (inpatient and outpatient), operative reports, transfer summaries and emergency provider notes. 

Connect Care inpatient summative documents are automatically copied to the Netcare electronic health record, as well as compatible external electronic medical records via eDelivery. Outpatient communications are also copied to external systems if the author selects a Netcare-destined document template. 

Progress documents (which depend upon the rest of the chart for context) are not automatically shared with external systems.

A few best practices can help reduce incoming document management burdens for receiving providers:


Ordering Therapy Plans - Launch 5 Prescriber-Led Support Sessions

Physicians and other prescribers who order recurrent, ongoing therapies (IVIG, blood, antimicrobials, etc.) known as Therapy Plans (pre-defined collection of related/standing orders that can apply to multiple/recurrent encounters over time) are invited to attend orientation sessions. The sessions explain the process of ordering Therapy Plans and will assist you when converting legacy orders and paper-based orders prior to Launch 5. There will be demonstrations of Therapy Plan workflows and an opportunity to address questions. 

The following sessions provide background information and context, focusing on workflows with demonstrations. Although important for Launch 5 prescribers who anticipate Therapy Plan use, all Connect Care prescribers are welcome, as many may benefit from a refresher.

Clicking on the hyperlinked date for a session will open a calendar invite for that session, which you can then respond to and receive the meeting information.

For more information, please see the below resources:


Problem Power - A Renewed Tips Series

Problem List management can seem daunting to new (and established!) clinicians. With a little effort, however, problem management can dramatically improve the Connect Care user experience, while significantly reducing personal and shared information burdens.

Consistent problem list management is among Connect Care's minimum use norms. It is also a prerequisite for problem-oriented charting, in turn necessary for efficient and effective clinical documentation.  

In tandem with Launch 4, the "Problem Power" Connect Care tips series will post daily, emphasizing little things that can make problem list management easier while having a big impact on health record quality.


All User Bulletin: ED Provider Note Not Auto-copied to Author EMRs

All-user-bulletins highlight stumbling blocks that all prescribers need to be aware of when using the Connect Care clinical information system.

ED Provider Notes No Longer Automatically Copied to External EMR of Authoring Providers

Connect Care prescribers may provide services where Connect Care is the record of care, and additionally provide follow-up services where a community electronic medical record (EMR) is the record of care. Physicians working in emergency departments, for example, may find themselves subject to "mixed-context" workflows. When these prescribers author summative documentation in Connect Care, copies are sent to their external EMR if it supports this type of eDelivery

Emergency Department Provider Notes are an exception. These are no longer copied to compatible external EMRs of authoring prescribers. Mixed-context prescribers who use these reports as part of externally managed (non-Connect Care) billing workflows can adopt other strategies for tracking billable ED events, as described in the following bulletin:


All User Bulletin - Update: Ultrasound Reports for Referring Providers

All-user-bulletins highlight stumbling blocks that all prescribers need to be aware of when using the Connect Care clinical information system.

Ultrasound Reports for Referring Providers via Astraia

[This post originally appeared in June, with subsequent updates indicated with strikeout and dark red font below.]

Astraia, a third-party specialized perinatal documentation system that is used in conjunction with Connect Care to provide comprehensive Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) assessment and consultation, provides highly specialized, in-depth MFM ultrasound reporting. Astraia generates detailed ultrasound reports for referring healthcare providers; these reports are available in Connect Care in text-only and full PDF versions:

  • Text-only: The text portion of the ultrasound report contains the consulting MFM physician’s summary, recommendations but does NOT contain the specific ultrasound measurements, anatomical assessments and graphs and select fetal measurements. Currently the text-only report does not provide all fetal measurements and assessments. Critical results will be communicated to referring providers via a telephone call and facsimile of the full report.
    The text-only portion is displayed in Connect Care, and is also faxed to the referring healthcare provider. 
  • Full report: The complete report that includes specific ultrasound measurements, anatomical assessments and graphs is available as a PDF. Referring providers can find the PDF in the Chart Review activity:
    • Click the "Imaging" section. Select the target ultrasound, scroll down below the text to the section entitled "Order-Level Documents", and click on the hyperlink. 
    • Tip: To move the "Order-Level Documents" section to the top of your viewing screen, use the wrench tools on the top-right corner of the report window and drag this section to the top of the list.
    • Note: The complete report PDF can also be found in Netcare (click the diagnostic imaging section and find the target ultrasound report by date).

As of June 7, 2022, all text-only reports issued by Connect Care will contain the following statement to direct healthcare providers to the full PDF report:

This is the text portion (Consultation) of the Maternal Fetal Medicine ultrasound report. At the present time, Connect Care, Millennium, SCM and Impax are unable to accept the graphics portion of the report. For the entire report including graphs, please view this ultrasound report through the Alberta Netcare Portal (for access go to http://www.albertanetcare.ca/) or view through Connect Care by clicking on the Order-Level Documents PDF link found in the section below the imaging text result.”  


Experience MyAHS Connect to Promote MyAHS Connect

We've previously posted about increasing uptake of Connect Care's patient portal, MyAHS Connect. With a critical mass of engaged patients, Connect Care prescribers have growing opportunity to improve information gathering and sharing with patients, including during inpatient encounters

But it can be hard to promote a service that one has little experience of!

A new initiative enables Connect Care prescribers to activate their own MyAHS Connect accounts. They can experience firsthand the benefits of a full-feature patient portal. Personal access can also help clinicians help patients who ask questions about patient portal functions.

This opportunity is offered to prescribers activated for Connect Care use as part of past and current launches. Some clinicians may already have MyAHS Connect access by virtue of their own experiences as patients. Others can complete a self sign-up request. 

Application instructions are provided on the AHS intranet. Note that the links will only work when logged on to an intranet (within AHS) location. It is also possible to open the Clinician Manual from within Connect Care (F1 key for pop-up help, then Clinician Manual link at top of middle column), go to the Patient Portal page, then follow the sign-up link from there:


CMIO Optimization Support for Connect Care Users

With over 7,700 professionals having completed Chief Medical Information Office (CMIO) training for Connect Care, the CMIO has developed a four-tier optimization training strategy to foster continuous learning for those in previous launches (Waves 1-3 and Launch 4). 

All Connect Care users who fall under the scope of CMIO training will be able to access optimization support via their local leadership. Users can combine facets of optimization from any tier, in any order, to best address their unique needs. 

In Tiers 1 and 3, users can drive their own learning through the available resources and modules; in Tiers 2 and 4, Medical Informatics Leads, Super Users, and Zone Clinical Department Heads will help champion this learning for their colleagues and staff.

For more information, see the Optimization Training page in the Connect Care Manual.

Care Path Launch – Heart Failure and COPD

The Heart Failure and Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AECOPD) Care Paths will launch in Connect Care on July 11, 2022. 

Who is the Care Path for?

Any patient admitted to hospital with a principal diagnosis of Heart Failure or COPD. While a patient can be placed on a Care Path at any point during the hospital stay, it is recommended to begin the Care Path on admission.

What is a Care Path and why use it?

    A Care Path is an advanced clinical decision support tool in Connect Care which summarizes relevant patient information, incorporates evidence, and builds multidisciplinary care into a single workflow path based on the patient’s primary diagnosis. Advantages include:
    • Automatically integrates evidence into care – Care Paths help providers to see summaries of diagnosis-specific care evidence in context of a patient’s relevant health information, enabling personalization of care decisions to optimize quality and safety of care.
    • Improves efficiency by summarizing relevant information – The Care Path Summary page consolidates patient information specific to the primary diagnosis into one view with quick links to relevant assessments, labs, vitals, medications, rapid rounds, expected date of discharge (EDD), and problem-oriented charting.
    • Provides specific guidance for phases of care – Care Paths includes imbedded Order Sets for hospital admission, as well as workflows to support managing day-to-day hospital care. Care paths also help to guide coordinated transitions between acute, primary and community-based care.
    Is there evidence to support Care Path use?
      Yes! The use of standard order sets and clinical pathways have been associated with improved patient outcomes including decreased length of stay, reduced hospital readmission rates, improved adherence to evidence, reduced healthcare costs, and even substantially reduced patient mortality. 

      What do you need to do?

      Care Paths are launching on July 11, 2022. Prior to that date, please watch the training video(s) below in My Learning Link (MLL). Benefits: learn how to use Care Paths efficiently to save time, and earn CME credits!

      • Unaccredited summary course: EPIC - Care Paths - Prescribers (20 min)
        • Note: This course is also inserted into the accredited modules listed below. 


      • Accredited course (Care Path-specific):
        • Heart Failure Disease Care Path Integration: Evidenced-Based Guideline Recommended Best Care 
          • RCPSC MOC 3 – SAP 1.5 hrs 
          • CFPC Mainpro+ 3-credits-per-hour for 1.5 hrs (4.5 credits)
        • Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Care Path Integration - Evidenced-Based Guideline Recommended Best Care 
          • RCPSC MOC 3 – SAP 1.0 hr 
          • CFPC Mainpro+ 3-credits-per-hour for 1.0 hr (3.0 credits) 

      For more information, see the updated Care Paths section of the Manual.


      On Other Channels...

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      Connect Care Launch 5 Countdown

      Our countdown time has reappeared again (see top of left column, just above the Search box)! 

      The Connect Care Launch 5 date is set for the early hours of Sunday, November 6, 2022. This wave will bring many sites into the Connect Care fold, including the following:

      • Calgary Zone: Foothills Medical Centre (including associated clinics at Richmond Road Diagnostic & Treatment Centre) 
      • Central Zone: Acute and combined acute and long-term care sites; encompassing the former David Thompson Health Region, including the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury and Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service; AMH ambulatory services in the former David Thompson Health Region; Continuing Care (intake/transition)
      • North Zone: AMH ambulatory sites encompassing the former Peace Country Health Region; Fort Vermillion; High Level; La Crete; Paddle Prairie; Rainbow Lake
      • Provincial programs: Cancer Care Alberta North; Cancer Care Alberta South; Kidney Care South
      • Pharmacy and diagnostic imaging: Sites in Calgary and the former David Thompson Health Region
      • Alberta Precision Laboratories: Sites in the former David Thompson Health Region
      We are within 150 days from Launch 5.

      Having learned how important it is to avoid a last minute rush, our Countdown Checklist (checklist.connect-care.ca) will restart around 100 days prior to Launch 5. This checklist allows prescribers to ensure that requirements are met as they progress from registration through training, proficiency, personalization and launch-readiness. 


      CMIO Prescriber Drop-in Support - Update

      Moving into the fourth week of Connect Care at the Launch 4 sites, the In-person Drop-in Centres have now closed. The Virtual Drop-in Centre (virtualhelp.connect-care.ca) remains open until June 26, 2022, with daily support from 08:00 to 21:00.

      If you require support outside these hours, please call the IT Service Desk & Solution Centre at 1-877-311-4300 (#1 for Connect Care) or visit help.connect-care.ca.

      For further information about the Virtual Drop-in Centre schedules, visit launchhelp.connect-care.ca. Also listed there are reminders about getting after-hours CMIO help for prescribers via Super Users and the CMIO leader on call.


      Death Certification Still a Paper Process

      While it is great to see so many Connect Care users enjoying digital documentation -- and release from fussy forms -- there are some tasks that can only be completed on paper.

      One of these is death certification.

      The Province of Alberta is working on, but does not yet support, digital death certification. At this time, responsible physicians must complete a formal (paper) death certificate in the event of a patient death. These can be found at Emergency or Nursing Station forms stores. They can also be obtained from the facility admitting department and must be returned to medical records before a body can be released.


      Dragon Medical One - Launch 4 Personalization Sessions

      Personalization sessions for Connect Care's in-system dictation software, Dragon Medical One (DMO), are coming up for Connect Care Launch 4 prescribers. Those in previous launches (Waves 1, 2, 3) are also welcome to attend.

      The personalization sessions are scheduled for the following dates/times:

      • Tuesday, June 21, 2022: 16:30-18:00
      • Thursday, June 23, 2022: 16:30-18:00
      • Tuesday, June 28, 2022: 16:30-18:00

      Registration is through MyLearningLink (MLL) (course name: Dragon Medical One (DMO) - Dictation Optimization Sessions), and sessions are via Zoom.


      Dictated Textual Radiology Results Issue - Resolved

      On the afternoon of Sunday June 12, 2022, there was an issue preventing flow of newly dictated textual radiology results to Connect Care. During this time, critical results were reported verbally. The flow of results was disrupted for approximately three hours, from 12:47 until 15:48, and was in effect province-wide. The issue is now resolved, and all textual results have been posted to Connect Care. There is no further action required at this time. 


      Connect Care Launch 4 - Electronic Documents and Results Delivery to Community Providers

      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:

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      Prescriber Ordering Norms - Are Verbal Orders Allowed?

      Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) refers to the process of a medical prescriber entering orders electronically via a digital health record. 

      CPOE involves much more than simply transcribing an order. The ordering process activates decision supports, patient safety protections and other aids to quality improvement. With a little practice, the CPOE process can also be much faster than written or verbal equivalents, as favourites, panels, personalizations and other automations come into play. In addition, Connect Care mobile apps make order entry immediately accessible from tablets and smartphones, any time, anywhere.  

      It is a Minimum Use expectation for all prescribers that all tests, interventions and medications that can be ordered in Connect Care are ordered in Connect Care. Compliance is tracked in prescriber performance metrics. 

      Very few exceptions to CPOE are acceptable, as summarized in Connect Care Ordering Norms.

      If there are interdisciplinary teams that are having concerns, questions or challenges regarding CPOE, it is recommended that each team work through the CPOE work package. A memo also contains relevant information for Nurse Clinicians/leaders.