Thinking ahead - Barcoding Technology

A core Connect Care strategy is avoidance of hybrid (mixed paper and digital) workflows. This is particularly important where data re-entry is error-prone and puts patients at risk. An important example relates to medication administration. Mistakes involving just a character or two can make the difference between intended or unintended person, medication, dose, route or frequency.

Accordingly, Alberta Health Services (AHS) takes the opportunity of Connect Care to implement barcoding technology in medication workflows. A unique identifier will appear on all medications dispensed by AHS pharmacies. When medications are administered, providers scan the patient wristband as well as the medication. This simplifies data entry, safety checks and documentation.

Another core Connect Care strategy is to "close the loop" on as many workflows as possible. In the case of medication administration, this means workflow-attuned tracking so that there is an unbroken informational chain from plan, reconciliation, adverse reaction check, order, pharmacy receipt, decision support, dispensing, administration, documentation and effect monitoring. Barcoding locks down one more step in closed-loop medication management.

Physicians will be less affected by medication barcode scanning than other members of the multidisciplinary team. Still, it is important to understand an important change to team workflows that affect us. Questions can be directed to connectcare@ahs.ca.


Launch Readiness Assessments

Among many preparations for the first Connect Care launch later this year are Launch Readiness Assessments (LRA). These bring together all participants in the Connect Care initiative to  report on progress and problem-solve impediments. Each LRA spans the better part of a day, with rapid updates from diverse groups. This taking-the-temperature is invaluable for nimble adjustment and collaborative coordination.

LRAs are scheduled for 150, 120, 90, 60 and 30 days pre-launch. Our 120 day LRA occurs next week. Participants from across the province will meet to review each stream of work for their current state of readiness, identify potential risks and share ideas on how to mitigate those risks.

To learn more about readiness activities, visit the Connect Care Readiness page on Insite.


Workflow Walkthrough

With the Connect Care Wave 1 launch (November 3, 2019) getting closer, there are more opportunities to view and validate the emerging clinical information system. We can see and influence how information tools will affect and be affected by our work and workplace.

"Workflow Walkthroughs" allow street-smart clinicians to review exactly how Connect Care can support complex clinical activities. A Walkthrough event includes detailed demonstration of one or more high-risk, high-complexity, multidisciplinary or high-volume workflows. Patient journey videos are interspersed with feedback and discussion opportunities. The goal is to discover what more we need to do to get the system attuned to our biggest challenges.

The first Walkthrough event will be held June 26, 2019, at the Bernard Snell auditorium in the Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre (Edmonton) with options for telehealth remote access. Workflow Walkthrough videos will also be made available on Insite (details to come). The first Walkthrough will be most relevant to Wave 1 and 3 clinicians.

Although all interested physicians are encouraged to contribute, the Walkthrough event spans an entire workday. Only some parts will pertain. Please take a look at the tentative agenda (updates to come in future postings) and consider whether any of the 45 minute blocks offer an important feedback opportunity.


Did you notice?

If you did... way too OCD!

Our Connect Care Wave 1 launch countdown timer (top of left column) just gained a day.

After extensive consideration, the Connect Care Provincial Program Office has decided that the original Wave 1 Launch date of November 2, 2019 will move to November 3, 2019 at 0400.

The original date fell on the same day as the switch from Day Light Savings Time (DST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST). By launching on November 3, after the time change, the activation of Connect Care order entry, documentation and other functions will be more straightforward.


Ottawa Hospitals and Clinics Launch Epic

The Ottawa Hospital launched their implementation of Epic this weekend! Together with the Family Health Clinic, Heart Institute, Hawkesbury Hospital and St. Francis Memorial Hospital, Ottawa hospital joins the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in adopting an Epic-based fully-integrated clinical information system.

This launch anticipates our own. We are grateful to our Ottawa colleagues for granting a small AHS team opportunity to directly observe go-live processes.