As we move toward a single Alberta Health Services (AHS) clinical information system (CIS), the way patients' medical record numbers need to be standardized.
Medical record numbers are used to ensure that an individual's health record remains unique. Currently, patients are assigned different medical record numbers at each care setting they visit. Over time, most Albertans have accrued multiple facility-specific identifiers.
The introduction of the Alberta Unique Lifetime Identifier (ULI) helped, giving one identifier that could be referenced at all sites. However, this Alberta Health maintained ULI does not apply to all patient populations and, for technical reasons, it can take longer to generate than the creation of a health record demands.
The Connect Care CIS adopts a one-patient-one-record-one-system model. A Connect Care provincial medical record number (pMRN) will apply anywhere and anytime AHS facilitates care. It is unique, can occur only once per patient, and is created or retrieved whenever a patient interacts with AHS. Moreover, when the pMRN and ULI are used together, positive patient identification is more efficient and patients are more confidently linked to their Connect Care record.
The new pMRN will apply wherever Connect Care serves as the record of care, including at partner sites such as Covenant Health.