2021-09-16

All User Bulletin - Patient Portal Access Update #2

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

Patient Portals Access Workaround for MyAHS Connect

We previously reported access problems affecting the MyAHS Connect (MAC) patient portal. Due to the long queue lines experienced by many Albertans trying to log in to the Alberta Health MyHealth Records (MHR) patient portal, which uses the same authentication portal as MAC, patients faced delays or, in some cases, were not able to log in to MAC. 

A new Internet link has been created that allows current users to directly access MAC, avoiding the current queue process. Prescribers can now advise their patients to log in to MAC using one of the following options:

Note that patients looking to access MHR immunization records will still need to go through the MHR queue process. It remains possible for patients to access their Connect Care immunization record through MAC.

Technical teams continue to work round-the-clock to increase MHR capacity and reduce any queues. We will keep you updated about access to MAC as additional information becomes available.  

2021-09-15

All User Bulletin - Patient Portal Access Update

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

Patient Portals Access Constraints

We previously reported access problems affecting the MyAHS Connect patient portal. Patients faced delays or, in some cases, were not able to log in. 

The Alberta Health MyHealth Records (MHR) patient portal is experiencing an increased number of Albertans trying to access their immunization records. As a result, many Albertans trying to log in to MyHealth Records are experiencing long queue lines. 

The Alberta Health Services MyAHS Connect (MAC) Connect Care patient portal uses the same authentication portal as MHR. Consequently, patients also face delays or loss of access to MAC. The MAC mobile apps (SmartPhones and Apple Watches) are likewise affected. To be clear, Connect Care Hyperspace is not impacted and the MAC servers are functioning normally.  

It is uncertain how long it will be before this issue is resolved. We will keep you updated about access to MyAHS Connect as more information becomes available.  

At present, patients will experience longer wait times, and possibly other challenges, when trying to connect to MAC via computer or mobile devices. This can affect scheduling, information access, communications with providers and embedded telehealth services.

BBHR: Bloat Busters - Using Interval H&P Notes

Building a Better Health Record (BBHR)
Bloat Busters - Using Interval H&P Notes

"Note bloat" is a digital health record affliction that decreases the signal-to-noise ratio of clinical documentation and frustrates clinical decision-makers. 

As part of our documentation quality improvement initiative, we will share practical ways for clinicians to benefit from Connect Care documentation norms that promote succinct, clear and actionable charting.

A common "bloater" is unnecessarily duplication of clinical documents. A patient may be seen by a consultation service in the emergency department, where a consult note is completed and a decision is made to admit to an inpatient facility. The consult may have anticipated admission and included all information that might otherwise be placed in an admitting history and physical (H&P). 

Given the requirement that all inpatient encounters have an admitting H&P, the admitting service may be tempted to copy the consult into a separate H&P, or to place a comment in the H&P referencing the consult. However, both the Consult Note and the H&P are shared with external systems (e.g., Alberta Netcare) and so extend unhelpful duplication beyond Connect Care.

There is a workflow to avoid this! An "Interval H&P" note can be created to point to the source document (e.g., Consult Note), avoid copy-paste and also avoid duplicate shares with external systems.

2021-09-14

All User Bulletin - Patient Portal Access Down

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

Patient Portals Access Down

Access to MyHealth Records started slowing mid-day September 14, likely related to public demand for vaccination information. By mid-afternoon, access stopped. 

Access to MyAHS Connect (Connect Care patient portal) has been bound to the same MyAlberta Digital Identity sign-on used by MyHealth Records. Consequently, MyAHS Connect access is also affected.

We will update this notice when information about service restoration becomes available.

Netcare Scheduled Outage - Thursday September 16, 2021, 21:00-03:00 Friday September 17, 2021

Alberta Netcare Portal will be unavailable between September 16, 2021 21:00 and 03:00 September 17, 2021, to accommodate system upgrades. Connect Care will not be able to launch Netcare during this time. 

Users who are logged in during this time will be disconnected and will need to re-authenticate following the outage period. 

If urgent access to results is anticipated during these periods, please refer to and complete the ANP Downtime Contingency Kit in advance of the maintenance. 

For any questions or concerns, AHS employees please contact 1-877-311-4300, while Community Alberta Netcare users (outside AHS) can contact the Provincial Helpdesk at 1-877-931-1638.

2021-09-10

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (...ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care update blog for prescribers. Recent additions to this blog and its various channels:

2021-09-05

Connect Care Transfusion Information System Scheduled Downtimes in Early September

The WellSky transfusion management software interacts with the Connect Care clinical information system to support blood product administration workflows. Users are asked to hold blood product ordering and testing activities, if possible, during the following times when the WellSky transfusion management system will be offline:

  • Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 23:30 until Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 00:30 (for pre-upgrade work).
  • Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 21:00 until Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 04:30.

Clinically essential transfusion medicine orders can still be made using established blood product downtime procedures. For any questions or clarification needed, please call the local facility laboratory.

All other components of Connect Care remain functional during the transfusion system upgrade.

2021-09-03

COVID-19 and Connect Care - Waves 4-5 Delay

An important message from Dr. Francois Belanger, Chief Medical Officer, and Sean Chilton, Vice President Health Professions and Practice and Information Technology:


Our healthcare teams and patients come first in every decision we make. Given the significantly increasing demands on acute and critical care areas, frontline staff, physicians, programs and services, and the increased health risks our patient and healthcare teams are facing due to COVID-19, we do not feel it would be prudent to launch the next wave of Connect Care in November 2021.

Our immediate priority is to support Alberta’s on-going COVID-19 response. We know that each Connect Care launch requires significant training and preparation by frontline teams, those who support behind the scenes and leadership. Delaying our Connect Care launches helps ensure our staff, physicians and leaders are able to focus on delivering care to patients who need acute and critical care at this time. 

We are currently assessing the situation in order to determine our new wave rollout plan. Firm dates for subsequent launches will be shared as we have them.

To be very clear, Connect Care is not being cancelled: Connect Care continues to be one of our highest organizational priorities. In fact, even with this delay to the upcoming launches, some Connect Care work will still continue to support the needs of the organization, the pandemic, and to prepare for the next launches. Work that can still continue because it is less impacted by COVID-19 includes:
  • Infrastructure and technology work, including WIFI upgrades, facility preparations, and device deployment and testing
  • Continued support for Waves 1, 2 and 3 to aid the stabilization of those sites and programs
  • Building and validation work for Waves 4-7
  • Building and preparing training support, leadership teams and other roles necessary for future launches. 
We are thankful for all the work done to launch our three previous waves so successfully, including the incredible support from the Edmonton and North zones, and from sites and programs across the province. We also want to recognize the preparations undertaken for our next launches by Connect Care teams, site and program teams and our leadership. 

When it is safe and prudent to move ahead with our future launches, we will be ready. In the meantime, making these changes means we can be strategic with resources and respectful of the demands on our staff and physicians, as they continue to protect the people of this province.  

2021-09-02

COVID-19 and Connect Care - Additional Dose and Moderna Changes

As of September 1, 2021, an additional (third or booster) dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available for eligible groups:

  • immunocompromised individuals 12 years of age and older with specific conditions, 8 weeks after their second dose; 
  • residents of seniors’ supportive living facilities, 5 months after their second dose; and 
  • travelers to jurisdictions where AstraZeneca/Covishield or mixed doses are not recognized, 4 weeks after their second dose.
Also as of September 1, 2021, the Moderna (COVMODmRNA) vaccination has been approved for ages 12 years and older.

To support the expanded criteria for vaccinations, the COVID-19 vaccine inpatient order set is enhanced in Connect Care:

  • An "Additional Dose" section has been added to the order set to support those eligible for additional doses (as described above).
  • Moderna (COVMODmRNA) is now available for everyone born 2009 and earlier.

For more information:

2021-08-30

Quanum Scheduled Downtime - Wednesday September 1, 2021, 01:00-03:00

Quanum ECS (content management software), which supports Connect Care external document scanning and printing workflows, will be taking a brief downtime on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, from 01:00 to 03:00. 

Users may experience an error when scanning or viewing a document during this window; if so, please wait 10 minutes and retry. Consider printing documents needed between 01:00 and 03:00 prior to the scheduled outage.

For more information:

2021-08-22

Reminder: Connect Care 180-Day Inactive Access Account Disabling

As previously posted, the Alberta Health Services Identity & Access Management (AHS IAM) team has activated a security practice for Connect Care whereby Connect Care user accounts that have not been accessed for 180 consecutive days will be inactivated. Users with inactive accounts will not be able to log in to Connect Care. The first day access to inactive accounts may be lost is Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

  • Anyone at risk of Connect Care account inactivation (no log ins for 150 days) is sent automated email notifications from “Identity Management”, the AHS IAM system.
    • Email notifications are sent both to the user and to the user's "Authorized Approver" (manager), with repeat notices 30, 15 and 2 days prior to the inactivation date. 
    • Email notifications identify the upcoming inactivation date and actions that can be taken to maintain access.
    • Prescribers may also receive additional email notifications from Provincial Medical Affairs.
  • If the Connect Care user fails to log in despite warnings, the account is switched to inactive status on the previously identified inactivation date. 
  • Inactive accounts can be reactivated if and when users return to active clinical work in Connect Care settings. Managers will work with the affected end user to determine the best pathway to renewed Connect Care access, including any training or other remediation that may be required.  

This inactivation protocol helps ensure that Connect Care users remain available for system alerts, information about new or changed features, and important clinical notifications. The protocol applies to all AHS employees, members of the medical and midwifery teams, students, volunteers, and other persons acting on behalf of AHS (including contracted service providers).

More information:

2021-08-21

All Prescriber Bulletin - Ensure Documentation Files to Correct Record of Care

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

File Documentation to the Correct Record of Care

As the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) continues to spread throughout Alberta, situations emerge where a program or facility has areas launched in Connect Care and others awaiting launch. Temporary "hybrid" contexts occur when part of a patient's experience is captured in Connect Care and other part(s) in legacy systems. 

Clinicians trained in Connect Care workflows may find themselves attracted to the convenience of in-system dictation, speech recognition or text automations when providing service in contexts where the CIS has yet to launch. Nonetheless all clinical documentation must be rendered and entered to the correct legal record of care.

The Connect Care Manual describes how to print material that needs to be added to a paper chart:

2021-08-20

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (...ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care update blog for prescribers. Recent additions to this blog and its various channels:

2021-08-18

BBHR: Minimum Use for Maximum Utility - Adverse Reaction Documentation

Building a Better Health Record (BBHR)
Minimum Use for Maximum Utility - Allergies and Adverse Reactions

Connect Care Minimum Use Norms highlight a few essential activities that all clinicians must share in order to promote patient safety, improve charting efficiency and minimize any one clinician's information burdens.

One norm relates to validating a patient's list of allergies and adverse reactions at appropriate intervals. We've noticed room for improvement.

Prescriber supports have been improved to clarify how allergy reconciliation can occur with minimum fuss and maximum benefit. Emerging problem oriented charting tools reward minimum use compliance with easier preparation of standardized clinical documentation.

2021-08-17

Rural Cardiogram Scheduled Downtime - Example of secondary system downtimes

Most Connect Care users are familiar with planned Connect Care downtimes that are periodically scheduled to allow for system updates and technology maintenance. Primary downtime procedures for prescribers, including access to backup systems, are described in the Clinician Manual. 

Most clinical information system maintenance, including non-Epic systems integrated with Connect Care, can be scheduled during planned Connect Care downtimes. However, as Connect Care grows throughout Alberta, there may be times when focused secondary downtimes are needed.

Secondary health information systems provide Connect Care with important clinical data through information interfaces. They can be taken offline for short periods without affecting core Connect Care functionality. Examples include medical devices, such as electrocardiogram recorders, that use interface software to upload information that Connect Care incorporates into the patient chart. Such support systems may require periodic maintenance, possibly affecting just one facility or zone. To further the example, the rural interfaces for Holter monitor and electrocardiogram uploads will be down for one hour (20:00-21:00) on August 24, 2021 for scheduled maintenance.

Instructions specific to support system scheduled and unscheduled downtimes are included in Connect Care downtime resources for clinicians.

2021-08-16

Webinar: Complex Lab Results in Patient Portals

As previously posted, more lab test results were made available last February in My Personal Records (MPR), found in MyHealth Records (MHR), the single access point for Albertans’ personal health information. These lab results are viewable through the MPR application. Making more results available online provides Albertans with more access to their health information and acts as an additional safety net for patient care within the system.

Through a series of rollouts, additional results are being added to MPR through to September. To date, the following results are now viewable as soon as they are released by the lab:

  • About 95% of the most commonly ordered (by volume) lab test results were viewable as of February 1. 
  • More complex results in pathology and other areas are being included in MPR on August 23.

Providers may notice some changes in their patterns of work, and may wish to consider giving patients more information about the implications of different results at the time of ordering a test. Physicians and other providers will continue to have access to results through their usual delivery channels.

For more information about the August 23 rollout, AHS will be hosting a 1-hour information webinar on Zoom: 

  • To register
    • Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 10:00-11:00
    • Please add this link to your calendars and join the Zoom meeting.
      • Dial by your location:  1 587 328 1099
      • Meeting ID: 980 6212 9635
      • Passcode: 884504
For more information about laboratory result release via portals:

2021-08-12

Building a Better Health Record (BBHR)

BBHR: Building a Better Health Record

Well into our Connect Care journey, it is time to take stock. 

We've successfully launched hundreds of sites with thousands of users using a powerful clinical information system (CIS) supporting patient care in diverse settings. We've seen widespread adoption of innovations like mobile-access and in-system dictation. 

However, there are early indications that we may have yet to protect ourselves from some of the potential digital health records harms identified pre-launch. Indeed, misuse of the Connect Care CIS could make it more, not less, difficult for us to quickly discover what is important in a patient's experience. 

Earlier this year, Connect Care invested in a documentation quality improvement initiative (DQI) to optimize charting tools, reduce clinicians' CIS work and increase the clinical value of CIS contributions. Starting with this posting, we begin a series of blogs, tips, FAQs and Manual updates highlighting DQI and other opportunities to collectively build a better health record

2021-08-10

Leave of Absence Workflow Improvements

When admitted patients leave an inpatient setting with expectation of return, they enter a "leave of absence" (LOA) status. Special provisions may be needed, including for things like medications to be taken while on leave. 

A LOA navigator (usually found within the Discharge activity in Hyperspace) helps clinicians take care of everything needed for a LOA. This now has a new section, “LOA Orders for Procedures”, to be used to continue all required inpatient medications when sending a patient to another site for a procedure.

If medications are not required during transfer, then the only requirement is placing an LOA order for the procedure in the Orders section.

The Clinician Manual, with attached tip sheets, has been updated:

Connect Care Scheduled Downtime - Thursday August 12, 2021, 00:30-04:30

The Connect Care clinical information system needs periodic maintenance. The next scheduled update will occur Thursday, August 12, 2021 between 00:30 and 04:30. On this occasion, Hyperspace, Transfusion (WellSky), Content (Quanum), Dictation (Dragon Medical One), MyAHS Connect and the Link Provider Portal systems are all affected.

Connect Care PRD SRO is not expected to be available during this maintenance window - please use North BCA Web if you need to view and print patient information during this time. In addition, Netcare remains available. Document scanning or viewing will not be available in Quanum during the outage.

Any paper ordering or charting will be uploaded by support staff once the downtime finishes. Physicians will want to validate this work. Charting deficiency notifications may appear later in In Basket but can be addressed with the SmartPhrase ".DOWNTIME".

Instruction on downtime procedures is available in the Connect Care Manual and additional linked resources:

2021-07-30

AHS CMIO Portfolio Leadership

A big welcome to Dr. Jeremy Theal who assumes leadership of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) portfolio next month!

From Dr. Francois Belanger, AHS Chief Medical Officer & Vice President Quality:


I am very pleased to announce Dr. Jeremy Theal will assume the role of Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for AHS, effective August 30, 2021.

I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Stuart Rosser for providing interim coverage for the Chief Medical Information Officer role over the last year. His familiarity with the Connect Care design, build, and implementation provided the context and continuity, which were imperative to this transition period, and I am grateful for his leadership and support during this time. Dr. Rosser will continue to benefit the Connect Care Project and will return to his role of Physician Design Lead.   

The CMIO plays a key part in the AHS senior leadership team. Reporting directly to the Vice President Quality & Chief Medical Officer of AHS and forming a triad with the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and the Senior Program Officer – Connect Care, the CMIO co-leads the development of a steady-state clinical IT and informatics strategy, as well as represent and communicate project and operational issues to clinical business leaders and clinicians within AHS, all while promoting clinical improvement and innovation. The CMIO directs and oversees engagement of physician communities in the five AHS zones, building awareness and opportunities for meaningful physician CIS adoption.

Dr. Theal graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine in 1999 in addition to completing an internship in Clinical Informatics at the Harvard Medical School during the summer of 1998. In 2003, Dr. Theal completed his Fellowship in Internal Medicine followed by a Fujisawa Fellowship in Hepatobiliary Disease and ERCP in 2005, an AstraZeneca Fellowship in Endoscopic Ultrasound in 2005 and a Fellowship in Gastroenterology in 2006. Dr. Theal is currently Staff Gastroenterologist at the North York General Hospital in Toronto, Ontario since 2006.  

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Theal has held several key health informatics leadership roles at the hospital, provincial and national level. As the Chief Medical Information Officer at North York General Hospital, he was the physician lead of a multi-award winning clinical information system implementation that built evidence into daily care workflows and significantly reduced inpatient mortality. He founded and led the innovative Clinical Systems Benefits and Adoption Team, which was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and provided peer-to-peer coaching in clinical systems implementation to over 80 hospitals across Ontario, resulting in reduced project costs and improved system outcomes. At Canada Health Infoway, he led several projects including the Canadian CPOE Toolkit, a digital network that freely shared a library of over 1,500 evidence-based electronic order sets among publicly-funded hospitals and long-term care facilities nationwide. For his efforts in improving patient care with clinical systems, Dr. Theal received the Ontario Minister's Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety. In 2020, he completed a one year program in Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership at Harvard.

Dr. Theal is an experienced physician leader with proven results in transforming care at an organizational, provincial and national level through design, implementation and data-driven improvement of clinical information systems. This previous experience combined with his passion for improving quality and safety of care will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Alberta Health Services in his role as Chief Medical Information Officer.  

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Dr. Theal in his new role.  

2021-07-27

Workspace ONE Outage - Thursday July 29, 2021, 19:00-23:00

As part of routine maintenance, there will be a very short outage of Workspace ONE, the application that AHS uses to manage clinical mobile apps, on Thursday, July 29, 2021 between 19:00 and 23:00. The outage may last as long as 5 minutes.

This brief outage could affect users of the Connect Care mobility apps Haiku and Canto. Users of these apps during the outage window may be kicked out. If that happens, please wait 5 minutes and then log back in.

2021-07-22

Connect Care 180-Day Inactive Access Account Disabling

As of July 22, 2021, the Alberta Health Services Identity & Access Management (AHS IAM) team activates an anticipated security practice for Connect Care. In short, Connect Care user accounts that are not accessed for 180 consecutive days will be inactivated. Users with inactive accounts will not be able to log in to Connect Care.   

  • Anyone at risk of Connect Care account inactivation (no log ins for 150 days) will be sent automated email notifications from “Identity Management”, the AHS IAM system.
    • Email notifications are sent both to the user and to the user's "Authorized Approver" (manager), with repeat notices 30, 15 and 2 days prior to the inactivation date. 
    • Email notifications identify the upcoming inactivation date and actions that can be taken to maintain access.
    • Prescribers may also receive additional email notifications from Provincial Medical Affairs.
  • If the Connect Care user fails to log in despite warnings, the account will be switched to inactive status on the previously identified inactivation date. 
  • Inactive accounts can be reactivated if and when users return to active clinical work in Connect Care settings. Managers will work with the affected end user to determine the best pathway to renewed Connect Care access, including any training or other remediation that may be required.  

The previously described inactive user protocol comes into force Tuesday, August 24, 2021. The process helps ensure that Connect Care users remain available for system alerts, information about new or changed features, and important clinical notifications. 

Managers may want to attend Zoom Virtual Office Hours (to be recorded) to explore their role and the inactivation protocol in more detail:  

This inactivation protocol applies to all AHS employees, members of the medical and midwifery teams, students, volunteers, and other persons acting on behalf of AHS (including contracted service providers).

More information:

2021-07-21

More With Less: Using Mobile Billing for Repetitive Services

We've previously posted about the re-release of professional billing supports within Connect Care's mobile platforms (Haiku for smartphones and Canto for iPads). It is nice to see growing uptake.

Some users wonder about best "use cases" for mobile billing. One such case relates to submission of multiple repetitive charges (service event billings) for a patient. Mobile billing offers a unique feature for "copy-forward" of a prior charge to a new date without having to re-enter all the billing details (e.g., health problems, referring provider, modifiers):

  • Open a patient's chart in Haiku or Canto and go to the Charge activity.
  • Confirm or select the date for the intended billing charge.
  • Tap the "Add" button, then tap the copy icon (top left), then select the prior charge (e.g., hospital visit) to be copied.
  • Tap "done" (top right).
  • Optionally tap the copied charge for further editing (but in most cases it can be left as is... the needed date changes are automatically updated).
  • Tap "File" to submit the charge.
  • Cycle through this workflow (it gets fast!) for all the days that the charge should be copied to.

Use of the mobility copy charge feature can dramatically speed up, for example, recording multiple daily visits for a patient one has been caring for over a period of time in hospital. See the mobile billing Manual and linked tips resources, focusing on the "copy" feature, for more information.

2021-07-16

MyAHS Connect: Putting Health Information into the Hands of Albertans

This July 2021, we reached an exciting milestone: more than 50,000 patients now have access to their Connect Care health record through MyAHS Connect! 

Patients accessing services at AHS facilities that have implemented Connect Care have the option to sign up for MyAHS Connect. A big thank you to prescribers at Connect Care sites who have encouraged their patients to “get connected!”

MyAHS Connect gives patients the opportunity to be a more active member of their healthcare team and enables them to communicate with their healthcare providers more easily, using their smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s a win-win for patients and care teams.

For more information about MyAHS Connect, see:

2021-07-14

Announcement: South Zone Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, Dr. Bilal Mir

A message from Dr. Aaron Low, Zone Medical Director, Alberta Health Services South Zone:


We are pleased to announce Dr. Bilal Mir has accepted the role of ACMIO effective June 14, 2021.

Dr. Mir was born and raised in Pakistan and completed Medical School at Nishtar Medical College in Multan, Pakistan. Before moving to Canada in 2001, he completed three years training in Surgery and Trauma in Zimbabwe. From 2002-2004, he was in the second batch of the Rural Family Medicine Residency program, based out of Lethbridge, AB. He went on to complete CCFP-EM training in University of Calgary. After finishing his residency, he practiced in Medicine Hat, AB as an Emergency Physician for four years. This was followed by working in Victoria, BC for five years as an Emergency Physician.

In 2014, Dr. Mir moved back to Alberta, working as an Emergency Physician at Foothills and Peter Lougheed Hospitals in Calgary, AB. His wife and extended family were originally from Lethbridge, which made their decision much easier to finally settle in Lethbridge, AB at the end of 2015.

In addition to working as an Emergency Physician in Lethbridge, Dr. Mir is also the Department Head of the Emergency Department at CRH and leads the ED program Quality Council for South Zone.

Dr. Mir loves the collaborative environment that is the Chinook Regional Hospital and is excited to start a new role as Associate Chief Medical Information Officer (ACMIO) in medical leadership. He has great enthusiasm for the Connect Care project, and the benefit this will be to our clinical care

He is happily married and has two wonderful boys. His interests include hikes, spending time in nature, love of the sport of Cricket, and spending time with his family.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Mir to his new role.

2021-07-06

Connect Care Scheduled Downtime - Thursday July 8, 2021, 00:30-04:30

The Connect Care clinical information system needs periodic maintenance. The next scheduled update will occur Thursday, July 8, 2021 between 00:30 and 04:30. On this occasion, Hyperspace, Transfusion (WellSky), MyAHS Connect and the Link Provider Portal systems are all affected.

Connect Care PRD SRO is not expected to be available during this maintenance window - please use North BCA Web if you need to view and print patient information during this time. In addition, Netcare remains available.

Any paper ordering or charting will be uploaded by support staff once the downtime finishes. Physicians will want to validate this work. Charting deficiency notifications may appear later in In Basket but can be addressed with the SmartPhrase ".DOWNTIME".

Instruction on downtime procedures is available in the Connect Care Manual and additional linked resources:

2021-07-01

All Prescriber Bulletin - Discharge Documentation Co-sign for Medical Learners

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

Discharge Documentation Co-sign Mandatory for Trainees

Prescriber trainees and students, including medical students, residents and fellows, as well as nurse practitioner students, are “supervised” by fully licensed prescribers who must co-sign or attest to many trainee activities in the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS).

One activity where co-signs are always required relates to discharge documentation. Discharge, transfer, deceased, operative and consult reports are Connect Care summative documentation types that also flow to Netcare. Without a co-sign, the summative document will post to Netcare under the trainee's name (as opposed to the attending prescriber), which in turn provides an inaccurate reflection of the record of care and can impact follow-up efforts. 

For more information on prescriber trainee accountabilities:

2021-06-30

Connect Care Mobility Supports for Professional Billing Resume

The Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) supports prescribers wishing to record “charges” (billable professional services) during or after patient care. Participating prescribers typically personalize charge capture tools in Hyperspace so that common codes and modifiers are immediately available. 

Further efficiencies are possible when Connect Care mobile applications for smartphones (Haiku) and iPads (Canto) are used to manage repetitive billing tasks. Having previously posted about problems that required temporary suspension of mobile billing supports, we are pleased to report their reintroduction with many improvements.

The Manual highlights a few of the differences between billing activities in Hyperspace, Haiku and Canto. Two new tip-sheets explore the powerful billing functions available for immediate use.

2021-06-29

Subscribing to Connect Care Blogs - Updated

Blogs (short periodic online postings) can help clinicians to keep abreast of Connect Care developments, tips, questions and supports. All prescriber-oriented blogs are available via a common link:
Different “channels” address different needs:
All channels can be accessed from any other channel by using a button-bar that appears immediately below the blog title area. Select a button to jump to the channel of interest.


Note that the button bar also provides easy access to the Connect Care Manual, eHealth Glossary, MyLearningLink and HelpDesk. The far-right button will open a global search page that queries all blog channels at once. If searching within a channel, use the Search box towards the top of the left column.

By “subscribing” to a blog, one can be alerted to new material via email messages. A "Follow (subscribe)" tool in the middle of the right column allows an email address to be entered. The associated email distribution service has been switched to a new provider, simplifying the subscription process.

NOTE: All existing subscribers are required to confirm their subscription. Look to the top of the first of the new email newsletters and click on the link indicating confirmation of intent to continue.

2021-06-28

In Basket - Courtesy Copies Now in Transcription Folder

We've previously posted about the upcoming Connect Care Spring 2021 Upgrade, occurring on June 24, 2021. With this upgrade, Connect Care users will see courtesy copies of transcriptions created by eScription at sites not yet on Connect Care in the "Transcription" folder of their In Basket. 

If you have any questions about this new function, please contact: speechrecognition@ahs.ca.

2021-06-22

Connect Care Scheduled Downtime and Spring 2021 Upgrade - Thursday June 24, 2021, 00:30-04:30

The Connect Care clinical information system will be taking the scheduled maintenance window Thursday, June 24, 2021 between 00:30 and 04:30. Connect Care PRD SRO will be offline from 03:00 until the end of downtime - please use BCA Web North if you need to view and print patient information during this time. Note that the WellSky Transfusion Medicine System upgrade previously scheduled for the same time has been cancelled; users can follow normal WellSky outage procedures for blood product orders during the Connect Care downtime.

This downtime window is for the Spring 2021 Upgrade, with changes to most Connect Care applications. These changes are primarily enhancements and, for prescribers, affect three main areas (In Basket, Mobility, Personalization). There are also four tracks that will see some noticeable changes (Anesthesia, Cardiology, DI, Lumens). Tip sheets outlining the change impacts have been created for each of these areas, linked below and also on the Manual:

For those seeking additional details on the Spring 2021 Upgrade, a summary of all changes is available on Insite.

Instruction on downtime procedures is available in the Connect Care Manual and additional linked resources:

2021-06-17

Connect Care Transparent Lockdown - June 18, 2021 12:00-04:30 June 24, 2021

Connect Care anticipates a significant upgrade in the early hours of June 24, 2021 (post with details important for prescribers to come). Connect Care uses a "transparent lockdown" process during upgrades to help prepare the system and reduce the upgrade workload, resulting in a shortened downtime window. The transparent lockdown period for the upcoming upgrade is from Friday, June 18, 2021 at 12:00 to Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 04:30.  

The lockdown does not affect system performance, existing workflows, or the activities of most users (thus "transparent"). Physicians and other prescribers will have access to their personalized orders, tools and templates during the lockdown; however, there will be no ability to create new personalizations during the lockdown period. For more details:

Changes to Available Lab Results in MyHealth Records/My Personal Records

Effective June 15, 2021, lab tests for microbiology and blood bank will be released immediately to Alberta Health’s MyHealth Records, in the My Personal Records (MPR) application. This change is part of Alberta Health’s rollout of expanded result release, which began in February 2021, to provide Albertans with more access to their health information.

Once the changes are in place, new MPR users will see an 18-month retrospective view of any lab results slated for release. Existing MPR users will not have labs added retroactively, but they will be able to see the expanded lab results moving forward. 

As is the standard practice, Connect Care releases these lab test results to MyAHS Connect. What’s new is that, as of June 15, 2021, these specific lab test results will be released immediately to MyAHS Connect, instead of being delayed by five days as they were previously. This means that patients will have immediate access to more of their own lab results and may have questions for their healthcare providers about them. As part of the overall rollout plan, Alberta Health is planning to release additional lab test results to MPR in the coming months. We will provide more details regarding the next planned release as we have them. MyAHS Connect result release will change to immediate for results being released in MPR as they become available. 

Alberta Health is providing support to Albertans through the MyHealth.Alberta.ca website and a 24-hour telephone line at 1-844-401-4016. Albertans can also call HealthLink at 811 for health-related inquiries.

2021-06-15

Netcare Scheduled Outage - Thursday June 17, 2021, 21:00-03:00 Friday June 18, 2021

Alberta Netcare Portal will be unavailable between June 17, 2021 21:00 and 03:00 June 18, 2021, to accommodate system upgrades. 

Users who are logged in during this time will be disconnected and will need to re-authenticate following the outage period. 

If urgent access to results is anticipated during these periods, please refer to and complete the ANP Downtime Contingency Kit in advance of the maintenance. 

For any questions or concerns, AHS employees please contact 1-877-311-4300, while Community Alberta Netcare users (outside AHS) can contact the Provincial Helpdesk at 1-877-931-1638.

2021-06-14

Connect Care CMIO Refresher Training

Some Connect Care users trained in the earliest waves, particularly those who only occasionally use the system, may find it beneficial to have some refresher training to ensure they continue to have a positive user experience.

CMIO refresher training for Waves 1 and 2 CMIO users in the Edmonton Zone can be accessed in one of two ways:

  • Register for Independent Learning on MyLearningLink, available for the following tracks (more tracks to be added, see below*):
    • Epic – CMIO Addiction and Mental Health 
    • Epic – CMIO Ambulatory 
    • Epic – CMIO Anesthesia
    • Epic – CMIO Cardiology 
    • Epic – CMIO Critical Care Adult
    • Epic – CMIO Diagnostic Imaging
    • Epic – CMIO Emergency Medicine 
    • Epic – CMIO Inpatient Admitting and Consulting
    • Epic – CMIO Obstetrics and Gynecology 
    • Epic – CMIO Pediatrics
    • Epic – CMIO Rural
    • Epic – CMIO Surgery
    • Epic – CMIO Personalization (note: users need to complete their EUPA prior to registering)
OR
  • Register for EZ Wave Basic or Personalization Instructor Led Training (ILT) on MyLearningLink 

There is no time limit to access refresher training through the Independent Learning option, and users can pick and choose what they would like to review. While Independent Learning takes approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete, the total time refresher training via this option would take depends on how much the user would like to review.

Refresher training via the Instructor Led Training option runs from August 30 to October 31, and is a repeat of users' original basic or personalization training. In-person and virtual options are available. Basic Instructor Led Training for most tracks takes approximately 6 hours, and personalization Instructor Led Training takes approximately 4 hours. 

For any questions or if your track is not listed, please email CMIO.EZ@ahs.ca.

*Independent Learning for NICU and Lumens will be available by September, and Independent Learning for all tracks will be available by the start of Wave 4 (November 7). Another notice with an updated list will be posted when available.

2021-06-10

Acute Care COVID-19 Vaccinations Order Set Updated

Changing COVID-19 vaccine availability, paired with a constant imperative to immunize, makes it possible to offer vaccination to patients in AHS emergency and inpatient facilities, without some of the restrictions previously applied (e.g., 21-day stay).

The Connect Care inpatient (also available in ED) COVID-19 vaccine order set is updated to reflect changes in guidance about eligible patients and choice of second vaccine type.


2021-06-09

Improved Goals of Care Designation Order

We've previously posted about how goals of care designations can be viewed, modified and maintained in Connect Care.

The order composer used to record a goals of care designation (GCD) has been enhanced (now available in all Connect Care modules).

  1. Embedded summaries about the attributes of a particular GCD are more consistent and informative.
  2. Links are provided to clinician-friendly GCD definitions as well as to guidance about goals of care workflows.
  3. Clinicians can select more than one participant for GCD decisions, as appropriate.
  4. A goals of care tracking record entry can be generated from a link embedded in the GCD order.

Goals of Care Designations persist across encounters, but need to be re-validated at the beginning of in-patient encounters.

2021-06-08

Easier and More Flexible (Re-)Printing of Discharge Prescriptions

An enhancement was added to the Connect Care production environment today to make it easier for prescribers to reprint discharge prescriptions at locations or devices other than the nursing unit that the patient is discharged from. This can be useful when a new or corrected prescription needs to be generated after the prescriber has left the unit, or if the prescriber is facilitating information transfer to a pharmacy from, for example, the prescriber's office.

2021-06-07

End of Support for iOS 12 as of June 16, 2021

On Wednesday, June 16, 2021, Mobility Services will start blocking new enrolments for Apple mobile devices running iOS version 12. Mobile devices currently enrolled into Workspace ONE with iOS 12 will have a grace period of 90 days to be upgraded to one of the currently supported iOS versions (iOS 13 or 14).

As previously posted, iOS 12 support has already been dropped by some of the application vendors that AHS currently uses, and so these applications are not able to be installed or upgraded on devices running iOS 12. AHS mobile policy also requires that mobile device operating systems be kept up to date, to ensure that AHS data and resources remain secure for all devices connecting to an AHS environment. 

What to expect:

  • As of June 16, any Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program users who try to enrol a device running iOS 12 will get an "enrolment blocked" message and the enrolment will fail.
  • Starting June 16, BYOD users with enrolled devices that are running iOS 12 will get emails and/or Workspace ONE Hub notices indicating the need to update to a later version within 90 days. 
    • If a device is not upgraded to a supported iOS version in the 90-day grace period, it will automatically be unenrolled on the 91st day. Once unenrolled, all access to AHS data and resources will be removed from the device.
    • During this grace period, support for devices running iOS 12 will be on a best effort, with a direction for users to upgrade to a later iOS version. 

For more information or assistance, please contact the AHS Service Desk at 1-877-311-4300.

2021-06-02

COVID-19 and Connect Care - Outpatient Vaccination Orders

A previous posting explained a unique order-documentation workflow used for inpatients who might meet criteria for administration of a COVID-19 vaccination during a hospital encounter.

Primary and specialty care clinics that use Connect Care as the record of care can now order and administer COVID-19 vaccinations in outpatient settings. 

Each clinic will be aware of the specific vaccine type available within the clinic. There are orders available for each of these vaccine types. The clinic workflow is the same (with the same patient informing and consenting norms) as that used for other clinic vaccinations (e.g., influenza vaccine).

Use the order search tool with "covid v" to find these new orderables.

2021-05-28

Referral Management in Connect Care

Effective referral management is key to safe and efficient patient care. Alberta Health Services (AHS), and the Connect Care initiative, continue work to optimize referral processes.

Connect Care introduces standardized ordering, triaging and communicating in support of "closed loop management", in compliance with College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) practice standards and AHS QuRE referral guides. Using the correct Connect Care workflow ensures that consults and referrals are identified, tracked and completed in a timely manner.  

As always, if an issue is time-sensitive, there is no substitute for direct provider-to-provider communication. This supplements, but cannot replace, placing the requisite Connect Care referral (outpatient) or consult (inpatient) order. Bypassing Connect Care orders by means of hallway conversations, In Basket messages or chart copies does not meet CPSA requirements, can inconvenience colleagues, and risks referral loss. 

Clinicians who receive consult requests through informal channels should remind the requesting provider that the desired consult or referral must be entered in Connect Care. The onus rests with the requesting – not the accepting – physician. A simple SmartPhrase can be used to document such reminders.

2021-05-14

CMIO Optimization Support for Connect Care Users

With over 4,500 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 Waves 1, 2 and 3. 

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.

2021-05-13

Non-Medical Device Assessments: What Prescribers Need to Know

Non-Medical Devices (NMDs) are computing and related devices that enable interaction with Connect Care. These include computer workstations, printers, document scanners, e-signature pads and track boards, among other things. 

AHS provisions and supports NMDs in clinical areas in order to match peak staff and workflow needs. To better estimate site-specific needs, NMD Assessments are completed prior to each Connect Care launch. The assessments are collaborative, facilitated by visiting teams working with site managers and prescribers. AHS NMD standards help set expectations for the quantity, types and locations of devices that can be deployed to sites. Information about NMDs and the NMD Standards can be found on Insite

Prescriber participation in NMD Assessments is important for ensuring that device type and location support physician workflows. For example, a printer placed in the wrong location can add significant burden to a physician’s workflow if inconvenient for retrieving printed prescriptions or outpatient laboratory test requisitions. 

Prescribers are encouraged to attend the first 30 minutes of NMD Assessment sessions at their sites. North Zone Wave 7 NMD Assessments begin May 17, 2021 and run until October 1, 2021. Dates will be emailed to site Medical Leadership directly. If you have questions about NMD Assessments in your Zone, please contact your Zone's CMIO supports:

2021-05-12

Mobility Apps Outage - Thursday May 13, 2021, 00:30-04:30

As previously posted, a scheduled upgrade to the Connect Care Mobility apps (Haiku, Canto, Limerick) will occur Thursday May 13, 2021, between 00:30-04:30, in preparation for a general Connect Care upgrade occurring in June. No other Connect Care systems will be affected during this outage, and Hyperspace and other Connect Care systems can be used as usual. 

Users may see an action request to allow the upgrade for each affected mobile device, based on device type. Failure to accept the upgrade will require a manual upgrade before the June Connect Care upgrade in order for the mobility apps to continue interacting with Connect Care servers.

  • iOS, iPadOS and watchOS devices: 
    • Once the mobile app upgrade window begins (00:30 on May 13), iOS devices will get a prompt to upgrade. For devices powered off during the window, iOS devices will receive the prompt to upgrade shortly after power on. 
    • Please accept this prompt to continue to use the Connect Care mobility with the coming June upgrade. 
  • Android devices: Users may need to upgrade the apps manually by re-selecting from the from the Workspace One (vmware airwatch) Catalog.

The PowerMic Mobile dictation application for Dragon Medical One is not affected by these updates. 

In case of difficulties, please contact the AHS Service Desk (1-877-311-4300).

2021-05-11

COVID-19 and Connect Care - Inpatient Vaccination Orders

Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Covenant Health support COVID-19 immunization of eligible acute care patients who anticipate a long hospital stay, are unable to access community immunization programs and wish to be immunized while in hospital. 

Connect Care offers an integrated workflow for ordering inpatient vaccination, documenting compliance with requirements, documenting vaccine administration, updating a patient’s vaccination history and communicating key information to provincial programs. Components supporting this workflow go into production Monday May 17, 2021. 

Affected clinicians should check new tip and Manual content:

2021-05-10

COVID-19 and Connect Care - Guidance for VITT

We have previously posted about testing for Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT). As experience grows, guidance for clinicians is firmed up.
Connect Care prescribers should remain alert to patient presentations that might indicate emerging or established VITT 4 to 28 days post-immunization:
  • a persistent and severe headache
  • focal neurological symptoms or visual changes, including blurred or double vision, or episodes suspicious for seizure
  • shortness of breath
  • abdominal or chest pain
  • swelling, pain and/or redness in a limb
  • pallor and coldness in a limb
  • unusual bleeding, multiple small bruises, reddish or purplish spots or blood blisters under the skin
The most important Connect Care action is to place an urgent order for a hematology consult (inpatient) or referral (outpatient) together with direct personal contact with a hematologist on call (RAAPID) who will guide initial investigations.

2021-05-02

Mobility Apps Upgrade (May 13, 2021)

On Thursday May 13, 2021, between 00:30-04:30, the Connect Care Mobility apps (Haiku, Canto, Limerick) will be upgraded in preparation for a general Connect Care upgrade occurring in June. Users may see an action request to allow the upgrade for each affected mobile device, based on device type. Failure to accept the upgrade will require a manual upgrade before the June Connect Care upgrade in order for the mobility apps to continue interacting with Connect Care servers.

  • iOS, iPadOS and watchOS devices: 
    • Once the mobile app upgrade window begins (00:30 on May 13), iOS devices will get a prompt to upgrade. For devices powered off during the window, iOS devices will receive the prompt to upgrade shortly after power on. 
    • Please accept this prompt to continue to use the Connect Care mobility with the coming June upgrade. 
  • Android devices: Users may need to upgrade the apps manually by re-selecting from the from the Workspace One (vmware airwatch) Catalog.

The PowerMic Mobile dictation application for Dragon Medical One is not affected by these updates. 

In case of difficulties, please contact the AHS Service Desk (1-877-311-4300).

2021-05-01

Connect Care Mobility Apps Need Device Operating System Updates

Most of us keep our mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, watches) in sync with the latest operating system updates. Among other things, this ensures that important security patches are in place to protect the device from intrusion. While Connect Care mobility applications (Haiku, Canto, Limerick) have robust app security, it is important that they work with safe operating systems.

A Connect Care mobility update is anticipated May 13, 2021. The fresh instances of Canto (for iPads), Limerick (for Apple Watches) and the iOS (Apple) version of Haiku will require recent versions of iOS/iPadOS (13.0 or later) and watchOS (version 6.0 or later). Those who keep up with updates have no worries, as the current version of iOS is 14.5 and watchOS is 7.4.

We recommend taking this opportunity to check the update status of any mobile device used for Haiku, Canto or Limerick.  Perform any possible updates before May 13.

There are some older devices that cannot support iOS/iPadOS 13 or later and so will not work with Connect Care mobility apps.