Announcement: Calgary Zone Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, Dr. Karmon Helmle

Earlier this spring, Dr. Tom Rich, our ACMIO for the Calgary Zone, announced his retirement. We are pleased to announce that, as of May 24, 2023, Dr. Karmon Helmle has joined the CMIO team as the new ACMIO for the Calgary Zone. Dr. Rich will stay on until the end of June 2023 to support Dr. Helmle and the team during the transition.

Dr. Helmle is a Clinical Assistant Professor within the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Calgary and has been contributing to the informatics team in the Calgary Zone as a Medical Informatics Lead physician for over a decade. She has a Master of Science in Health Informatics from the University of Victoria, with a focus on the barriers and facilitators to electronic order set uptake and sustained use. Her research involves leveraging knowledge translation and quality improvement to develop, implement, optimize, and sustain complex practice change and informatics solutions within inpatient care settings.

Dr. Helmle values teamwork, and as she moves into the ACMIO role, she is looking forward to working collaboratively on the optimization work ahead, with an aim to improve the lives of both patients and healthcare providers.

Please join us in wishing Dr. Rich the best and in welcoming Dr. Helmle to our team!


All User Bulletin - Use of the Database Tab in Procedure (Lab) Orders

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

Use of Database Tab in Procedure (Lab) Orders
When prescribers enter orders to an inpatient, emergency or outpatient patient chart, they typically search for an order of interest and then select from the returned options. Order search results can be viewed in one of four "tabs", including "Browse", "Preference List", "Facility List" and "Database":
  • Preference List (usually the default) displays orders matching the search term as well as a preference list for the prescriber's specialty or department.
  • Browse can be selected to explore personal favourites previously flagged for frequent use by the prescriber.
  • Facility List can be selected to reveal orders (e.g., medications, laboratory tests, imaging) that are available for use at the current facility.
  • Database tab appears if the Facility List has been selected and reveals all orderables available throughout Connect Care (Alberta), even if those orders are not available in the current facility.
Prescribers should not use the "Database" tab for procedure (e.g., lab or imaging test) orders. This tab is used, for example, by laboratory staff when sorting out how to fulfill unusual requests. Some orders exposed through the Database tab may not be intended for prescribers or may not be actionable where the prescriber desires. The Database tab is appropriate for prescriber use when seeking medications that are not on the AHS formulary.


Community Providers - Important Information for Delivery of Lab Results

Providers in the community who order lab tests or submit specimens for testing need to take action to ensure they receive these results. If requisitions are incomplete, patients could receive results before their providers. 

Every requisition given to a patient or sent with a specimen (including microbiology and anatomic pathology) needs to contain the authorizing provider’s full name, the clinic name, address, and submitter ID, plus the provider ID for the authorizing provider. 

For more information see: 


On Other Channels...

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

Connect Care Communication Norms

Communication happens when one person or group relays information to another person or group, whereas documentation happens when information is managed to serve as a record.

Connect Care supports a wide range of communication tools, including voice, facsimile, commenting and secure messaging. Clinicians may wonder which tool to use for different communication needs, and how to use each to advantage.

Communication Norms are about what Connect Care users expect of one another for effective, efficient, safe and respectful information sharing within and between groups. Healthcare teams are encouraged to develop their own "communication compacts", clarifying how they will use different tools for different purposes. 

For example:
  • Chart "Sticky Note to Most Responsible Provider" can function like a "Doctor's To-Do clipboard" listing things to take care of on rounds. 
  • Secure messaging can be used for non-urgent reminders, such as the place and time of an upcoming team conference, that can be attended to within the next half-day (or so).
Urgent clinical communications should always be person-to-person, not relying on tools like sticky notes, secure messaging or In Basket.


All User Bulletin - User Profile Error on Shared Workstation

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

User Profile Error on Shared Workstation
For highly shared workstations, there is a possibility that device performance will degrade due to the volume of user profiles existing on the device, as all user information is stored locally (including information for those users who may not have used the workstation for a while). In some cases, this issue may also be coupled with the device’s hard drive being nearly full. 
In such a situation, a user may get an error message when trying to log on to the workstation, noting that the user’s profile cannot be loaded. If you get this error message, call IT Service Desk or log the incident ticket to mention the issue above (Unit Clerks can do this), ensuring the Service Desk is provided with the barcode and physical location of the affected device. IT will then clean up the user profiles and data on the workstation. 
IT has put in new controls to avoid user data build-up, and will confirm if these controls successfully fix the situation after Connect Care Launch 6.
For more information, see the FAQ:


Prescriber Ordering Norms - Are Verbal Orders Allowed?

Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) refers to the process of a medical prescriber entering orders electronically via a digital health record. 

CPOE involves much more than simply transcribing an order. The ordering process activates decision supports, patient safety protections and other aids to quality improvement. With a little practice, the CPOE process can also be much faster than written or verbal equivalents, as favourites, panels, personalizations and other automations come into play. In addition, Connect Care mobile apps make order entry immediately accessible from certain mobile devices, any time, anywhere.  

It is a Minimum Use expectation for all prescribers that all tests, interventions and medications that can be ordered in Connect Care are ordered in Connect Care. Compliance is tracked in prescriber performance metrics. 

Very few exceptions to CPOE are acceptable, as summarized in Connect Care Ordering Norms. A brief slide deck summarizes guidelines for telephone and verbal orders that comply with AHS and Covenant Health policies and procedures; it applies to operational (e.g., nursing and allied health professionals) and prescribing (e.g., physicians, nurse practitioners) users of Connect Care, and provides practical examples and norms based on time of day. A work package also provides further details for interdisciplinary teams that may have additional concerns, questions or challenges regarding CPOE.


Launch 6: We are GO!

All Connect Care systems activated on time at 05:00! 

Today, Connect Care welcomes 208 sites from across the province into the family, including seven Covenant Health locations. The first few days will be intense, but with lots of help at hand we are confident that progress will be fast. 

Prescribers, please make use of the drop-in centres and other launch supports (launchhelp.connect-care.ca). Watch this channel for any updates, as well as the Support channel for information on "hot topic" common issues that have been flagged for Launch 6 prescribers.


All User Bulletin - Update Dragon Medical One Mobile App

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

Dragon Medical One - PMM Upgrade
Dragon Medical One (mobile dictation, DMO) users may be experiencing extreme slowness when using the PowerMic Mobile (PMM) app with an iOS device. While AHS users have not yet reported any problems, the vendor has recommended that all iOS users update their PMM app to the most current version to avoid this issue.
To update the PMM app, rather than using the app store, go to your device's list of apps ("Catalog"), click on the "Installed" button beside PMM, and confirm installation.