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: