Accessing Historical Data after Connect Care Launch

With implementation of Connect Care, Alberta Health Services (AHS) will transition from many health information systems to a single clinical information system (CIS). This ensures that all health data adheres to common definitions, is appropriately linked to health events, and can be combined in ways that promote better health with better information.

Ideally, the Connect Care CIS would absorb all health data ever gathered by AHS. Unfortunately, such historical data may not adhere to normal ranges or other properties needed to assure safe use of clinical decision supports, documentation tools and quality improvement. Messy data could clutter or confuse Connect Care. Also, not all data has equal clinical value.

Data conversion is about how historical health information is selected and managed for transfer to Connect Care. Considerations include which information to transfer, how it should be transformed, how much to include and how to make it accessible.

A Connect Care Data Conversion Committee has reached out to physicians, clinicians, leaders and technical experts across Alberta to get input about data conversion strategies and choices. Conversion principles emphasize assessment of clinical need, data quality, compatibility, safety, cost, post-conversion validation and user training.

It has become clear that not all historical data can or should be converted. That does not mean that it will not be available to clinicians and decision-makers. Important information will be readily available for as long as needed to support care. Access options include:
  • The Alberta Netcare Portal electronic health record, which can be launched to a specific patient record from within Connect Care. 
  • Non-Connect Care health information systems maintained in a read-only state for an appropriate time period.
  • Abstracts of high-value information attached to the Connect Care record.
  • Archiving solutions that can be linked to Connect Care.
In any case, legacy health records will be retained as needed for clinical, legal or secondary use. An “Information Disposition and Application Retirement” (IDAR) project will manage archival patient information from retired health information systems.