2020-10-21

Countdown Checklist W2 L-02: You've Got This!

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • You've Got This -- And We've Got Your Back
Physicians, nurse practitioners and other prescribers have dedicated time and energy to preparing for the Wave 2 launch of Connect Care. You've got this! 
  • There are approximately 580 prescriber end users that are part of Wave 2: physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical assistants, physician assistants, dentists, residents, medical learners, and nurse practitioner students.
  • Over a hundred prescriber Super Users are deployed for at-the-elbow support totalling over 4,500 hours of scheduled availability. 
  • Almost 300 hours of on-site drop-in and over 600 hours of virtual drop-in support is provided for prescribers during the pre- and post-launch period.
Watch for Connect Care posters in Wave 2 sites, prescriber updates, and the launch support pages in the Clinician Manual.

Connect Care Wave 2 - Why Now?

Connect Care Wave 2 launches in just a few days. Site physicians new to Connect Care, as well as those shouldering re-directed work, may question the wisdom of adding informational stress to pandemic pressure. These concerns are taken seriously. The risks and benefits of clinical information system (CIS) launch are weighed, and re-weighed.

COVID Pressures

Unfortunately, pandemic pressures are unlikely to change anytime soon. Indeed, we will continue to adapt for years to come. 

One of our most effective adaptations is Connect Care. The CIS, where implemented, has enabled more flexible practice, safer workflows, better integration with laboratory and virtual health services, and rapid deployment of new guidelines and decision supports. The more sites we have on Connect Care, the smoother we transition COVID patients to the level and location of care they need. 

On balance, pandemic pressures are easier to manage on Connect Care than off (also a factor in launch decisions by other large sites). 

No Good Time

The lead up to a launch date is complex and effortful. Training, technology, people and processes are all readied and aligned. There are so many interdependencies that any launch deferral would be to a much later date, with no assurance that conditions would have improved by then. We are in a strong position now, with excellent Super User, leader, drop-in and other supports already in play. 

Site Success Is a Zone Accountability

Wave 2 sites do not work alone. They are surrounded by groups already using a stable and strong Connect Care CIS, sites that help shoulder launch burdens. Readiness includes zonal redirection and other supports integrated with pandemic emergency response planning. The time is right.

Weekend Launch

A weekend launch date is best because there are minimal ambulatory appointments or elective surgeries, and the inpatient census is easier to contain. Furthermore, fewer diagnostic tests are scheduled and inter-facility transfers for procedures are limited. 

Safety Valve

Connect Care has proven its value at our Wave 1 sites over the last year, where it has stabilized and continually improved. Wave 2 sites will benefit from greater system maturity, and they will benefit even more from the accumulated experience of a large population of proficient users. 

We have great confidence in the leadership, staff and clinicians at all sites that will be implementing Connect Care, and expect that these will return to near-normal throughput sooner than imagined. 

That said, go-no-go decisions are revisited frequently... right up to the final launch hour. Wave 2 clinicians can trust that their CIS benefit/risk balance is a matter of constant, vigilant attention. Be sure to keep your leaders updated with any new developments or concerns.


2020-10-20

Connect Care Wave 2 is On

 From Francois Belanger and Sean Chilton...


In just under one week, we will reach another very important milestone in healthcare in Alberta: Wave 2 of Connect Care is set to launch at 5:00 a.m. on October 24 in the Edmonton Zone. We know that you have all been involved in months and even years of preparation to bring us to this point on the Connect Care journey.
 
Our patients have been our focus every step of the way. Connect Care will transform how patient information flows between patients and their healthcare providers, eventually creating a central access point for current and accurate patient information across AHS. The whole healthcare team, including patients, will have the best possible information throughout their care journey.
 
We’ve prepared a video message to thank Wave 2 teams for all you have done at your sites and programs to get ready to launch. You are changing healthcare for Albertans and you should be proud of all you have accomplished, even before we launch.
 


We know that with increased pressure from the pandemic and our ongoing daily work challenges, this has been an intense process. We also know that launching will result in new issues that we will need to work through. We are prepared for this and have ensured that throughout the launch period, Wave 2 teams will have resources and supports available in-person and virtually.
 
We also want to share a documentary video about our Wave 1 launch, which happened almost one year ago. The video captured the experience of the actual launch, as well as a look at the months after Connect Care was put in place. It will give you a sense of the challenges and successes that are part of this massive undertaking. Thank you to our Wave 1 teams for paving the way.
 
If you have questions, or need support, please visit Connect Care launch support – there are resources there to help you.
 
Once again, we want to thank everyone, and especially our Connect Care teams, for your commitment to healthcare in this province. Thank you for your collaboration and support of one another. Thank you for your amazing work to make Connect Care a reality in Wave 2.
 
The countdown is on!
 
Dr. Francois Belanger
Chief Medical Officer
Executive Co-sponsor of Connect Care
 
Sean Chilton
Vice President Health Professions and Practice and Information Technology
Executive Co-sponsor of Connect Care

Countdown Checklist W2 L-03: Catch up Dictations

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Dictate any pre-launch admission or transfer notes
Wave 2 inpatient facilities are supported for dictation of admission histories, transfer notes,  consultation reports and discharge summaries. This is done through the provincial eScription service, with products appearing in the Netcare electronic health record. These dictations will also be available to refer to in Connect Care when it launches.

Succinct initial progress notes  become possible in Connect Care if they can refer to an existing digital admission or transfer record and simply note and changes since. The same applies for Consults performed in the coming week for patients expected to still be in-hospital post-launch.
  • Take advantage of eScription to facilitate easier Connect Care cutover next weekend!

2020-10-19

Connect Care - A Year In

Alberta Health Services (AHS) continues to "Connect Care" for patients and families through a continuum of care clinical information system enabling better health powered by information.

The following documentary shares highlights from Connect Care's first launch, November 3, 2019, at Wave 1 sites about a year ago:


Even with a pandemic surge, we are stronger moving into our second wave launch. Good to remember where we've been!

Countdown Checklist W2 L-04: Unburden as Possible

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Unburden
Current clinical services have limited ability to control patient census or clinical workloads. However, this is the time to make every effort to ease the launch by re-considering the following:
  • Do everything possible on inpatient services to expedite discharges and decrease occupancy. 
  • Consider rehabilitation or other community services outside Wave 2 sites that might be available for transitional transfer. 
  • Transfer all patients who could be repatriated to other hospitals within the pre-launch week, wherever possible. These hospitals are informed and primed to prioritize Wave 2 sending sites. 
  • Identify and flag complex continuing patients who may need more cutover attention during the pre-launch week. 
  • Ensure that any possible clinician reserves are mobilized, including sick roster backup and any other resources that can be leveraged to increase physician supports at launch.
  • Lighten ambulatory and surgical loads in any way possible for next week.
  • Above all, make sure that you and colleagues have the Connect Care access you need and are working in PRD this week to familiarize and personalize.

2020-10-18

Countdown Checklist W2 L-05: Buddy Up, Team Up

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Buddy-Up and Team-Up
Every clinical group will have members who like, and others who dislike, information management. This is a good time to recognize this reality and identify buddies for providers who may struggle.

There are valuable human resources embedded in Wave 2 sites and others flowing in from Zone sites already on Connect Care. Pre-socialize your Super Users, Medical Informatics Leads, Area Trainers and other specialty, ward or clinic informaticians. Create and share a launch contact list that fits your local group needs. Prescriber launch supports (launchhelp.connect-care.ca) link to site-specific pages listing good contacts to start with.

This is also a good time to consider how clinical information system adoption work can be divided and shared. Some personalization tasks, for example, can dramatically improve the user experience but take time to set up. Many can be initiated by a team member who understands the preferences of colleagues then shared for adoption by a larger group. 

Examples of allocatable personalization tasks are listed in the Connect Care Physician Manual.

Consider devoting group, division, or other business meetings to identifying, and sharing, remaining team readiness tasks.

2020-10-17

Countdown Checklist W2 L-06: Find Drop-In Centres

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Take advantage of Prescriber Drop-in Centres
Scheduled drop-in help sessions are available just before and for weeks post-launch. These are good for troubleshooting issues related to mobility, personal device, dictation, personalization and workflows, as well as login, role and access problems.

The master schedule for all sites (including dates, times, and rooms) and site-specific schedules can be found in the Connect Care Manual (Devon, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, NECHC, Strathcona, Sturgeon, Westview).

Note that locations and times can change. Late-breaking information about the drop-in centres will be posted in Connect Care Manual (launchhelp.connect-care.ca).

2020-10-16

Connect Care Wave 2 Launch - Panel Discussion

Alberta Health Services (AHS) continues to "Connect Care" for patients and families through a continuum of care clinical information system enabling better health powered by information.

This "Conversations with Yiu" video discusses preparations and readiness for the second Connect Care launch wave:


Panelists include:

  • Heather Durstling, Executive Director, Suburban Hospitals Edmonton Zone
  • Judith Hockney, Senior Operating Officer, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Lois Hole Hospital for Women and Sturgeon Community Hospitals
  • Barb Kathol, Senior Program Officer, Connect Care
  • Stuart Rosser, Interim Chief Medical Information Officer

Clinical Inquiry Cases - Grand Rounds Oct 23, 2020

Connect Care Clinical Inquiry Clinics, now Clinical Inquiry Cases, explore user-submitted data report and visualization needs for match to in-system self-serve inquiry tools. The case analysis is shared, and participants can adapt resulting templates to their needs. The first "clinics" were offered as scheduled sessions, then continued as case consultations posted online via a clinical inquiry blog theme

Part of the clinical inquiry support initiative will be a medical grand rounds session October 23, 2020 from 0800-0900. All Edmonton Zone department of medicine members receive email invitations. Others who may want to join the Zoom session can request registration.

  • Title: Connecting Care with Inquiry
  • Time: October 23, 2020, 0800-0900
  • Venue: Zoom by invitation and registration
  • Objectives:
    • Recognize how the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) can support clinical improvement.
    • Appreciate how the Clinical Information Sharing Approach (CISA) promotes CIS-enabled inquiry.
    • Consider how in-system clinical inquiry supports and services can facilitate personal and group improvement projects.
We continue to welcome suggestions for future inquiry case consultations:

Countdown Checklist W2 L-07: Follow the Tippies

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Follow Connect Care Tippies
With most Wave 2 prescribers having full Connect Care production access, this is prime time for setting up starter personalizations that can streamline Connect Care workflows at launch. This is also a great time to collect simple best practices that colleagues have found most useful. These "Tippy" peer-to-peer tips can be considered within a moment, with most able to speed things up for most users.

Tippies are published on our "Tips" Channel (button above or tips.connect-care.ca) and will be re-released approximately daily in the peri-launch period. Please consider subscribing to the Tips channel.

The entire Tippies collection can be viewed via tippies.connect-care.ca or tippy.connect-care.ca (worth bookmarking).

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. The pace of communications has picked up with the Wave 2 launch soon upon us, so we post more frequently about recent additions to this blog and its various channels:

2020-10-15

Countdown Checklist W2 L-08: Confirm Dual Roles

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Ambidextrous? Let us know!
Most physicians work within a primary care or specialty service and are well served by the Connect Care department, role and user template assigned to them. Some physicians work in multiple facilities or specialties (e.g. Critical Care and Medicine); still served well by their Connect Care toolset and the ability to change departments (contexts) on the fly.

Some physicians work in two or more clinical areas that require quite different clinical information system (CIS) modules. The emergency module (ASAP), for example, is not like the critical care user interface. If one needs to switch between different modules for different roles (e.g. ER physician and Critical Care physician), then more than one "job" needs to be added to one's Connect Care physician record.

Connect Care has made these configuration changes for dual-role physicians who are already known. If you think you may have been missed, likely because you do not see a module you need, get in touch with Medical Affairs to request adjustments to your profile.

Trillium Joins the Canadian Epic Family

We've previously posted about the growing number of Canadian health care enterprises adopting the Epic Systems Corporation software at the core of the Connect Care clinical information system. 

We've also appreciated a mutual share-and-support culture within the Canadian Epic collaborative, and the larger world-wide community. AHS learns from the guidance, tools (e.g., order sets) and processes of others and we energetically share-forward our assets and learnings.

Trillium Health Partners went live with their Epic-based system on October 10. We congratulate them and welcome them to the collaborative!

2020-10-14

Connect Care Trainer Recognized for Mentorship

A big congratulations to Dr. Vanessa Maclean, Physician Design Lead and trainer extraordinaire for the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) training program, who has won the distinguished May Cohen Award for Women Mentors. Vanessa's accomplishments were recognized in last week's message to all AHS staff.

From Dr. Verna Yiu, AHS President and CEO, and Dr. Laura McDougall, AHS Senior Medical Officer of Health:


Former South Zone Medical Director Recognized for Mentoring

We’d like to congratulate longtime Lethbridge physician Dr. Vanessa Maclean - a former medical director in the South Zone of Alberta Health Services - for receiving the May Cohen Award for Women Mentors. The award is presented to a female physician and Canadian Medical Association member who has demonstrated outstanding mentoring. 
 
Starting as a family physician in Lethbridge in 1987, she later became an emergency department doctor, then medical director for the zone. Dr. Maclean retired from that position in 2016 but remains active in the medical community. 
 
As medical director, she kept an eye out for promising young physicians with big ideas, making sure they had a chance to be heard, and made herself available when they needed advice or support. In 2017, she conducted a review of the experience of female physician leaders in Alberta; it found women are under-represented in leadership positions in healthcare and encounter barriers to achieving those positions.
 
Today, Dr. Maclean’s work focuses primarily on the establishment of Connect Care, and she is still actively mentoring women and other emerging leaders.


All Prescriber Bulletin - In Basket Notifications re Cancelled Tests

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

New In Basket Messages - Test Cancellations

Starting October 13, 2020, Connect Care prescribers receive In Basket notifications when some laboratory tests are cancelled; in both inpatient and outpatient care contexts. Cancellation notifications are suppressed when not clinically significant, as might happen when duplicate orders are detected and managed. Notifications are sent when testing cannot be performed because the needed specimen cannot be collected, the collected specimen is inadequate to purpose, or the test request is declined in compliance with guidelines.

Cancellation messages include links to the relevant patient chart and encounter, as well as details of the affected prescriber order.

Countdown Checklist W2 L-09: Support Cutover Activities

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Support Cutover Activities
Key for attendings and trainees anticipating Wave 2 inpatient and/or outpatient launch is work to make sure that essential information is ready for loading or linking into the clinical information system before launch... and that legacy systems are tidied up so that they can be retired. Related preparations include: 
  • General inpatient:
    make sure that all dictations are complete and signed. Use dictation (eScription) for all admissions, transfers and consults between now and launch, if possible, so that transition notes at launch can refer to recent documentation in Netcare.
  • Surgical inpatient:
    make sure that work is underway to enter upcoming surgical cases into Connect Care (see resources).
  • Outpatient:
    make sure that all clinic documentation is complete, signed and routed; while also taking care to close open charts in any legacy systems.
  • Complex patients:
    consider pre-launch problem list documentation to support easy transition note generation at launch.
Key resources:

2020-10-13

Countdown Checklist W2 L-10: Identify Launch Supports

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Identify Launch Supports
This is a good time to check that you and your colleagues know who the Super Users, Medical Informatics Leads or other peer-resources are for your clinical site, group, area or clinic. They can facilitate pre-launch personalization activities. They will be present and a great resource during the weeks around launch. 

Clinical groups may plan for their own start and end-of-day check-ins to flag issues to forward to twice daily launch support meetings.

Note where User Supports are described in the Connect Care Physician Manual. This information is frequently updated with specifics about how to find and use human, online and telephone supports for help with Connect Care on-boarding. Each Wave 2 site has its own sub-section with local information about drop-in centres, Super User call schedules and other site specifics.

All Prescriber Bulletin - New Inter-Facility Transfer Navigator

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

New Inter-facility Transfer Navigator

A new consolidated Inter-Facility Transfer (IFT) navigator appears in Connect Care starting October 13, 2020. This addresses concerns of both sending and receiving sites, improving the quality of communication and documentation. It will also be easier for transferring and receiving prescribers.

The prior "IFT to Connect Care Site" and "IFT to Non-Connect Care Site" navigators are combined to a single IFT navigator. This provides a consistent experience while guiding providers about the specific orders documentation required for different transfer scenarios. In particular, medication reconciliation and recommended orders are summarized in a standardized IFT Note for receiving non-Connect Care sites.

The new navigator has embedded instructions. Additional guidance is in the following Tips and Demos, which should be referred to the first few times that a prescriber uses the new IFT workflow:

2020-10-12

Countdown Checklist W2 L-11: Check In-Basket

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Check In Basket
Wave 2 prescribers who have completed basic training and the associated proficiency assessment gain access to the Connect Care production environment (PRD), where they can complete personalizations and otherwise get ready for launch. 

Some prescribers participate in or are affected by early cutover and conversion activities. They can line up orders that need to be ready in the system at launch. There may be communications that relate to setting up surgical cases or outpatient encounters that will occur post-launch. In addition, once a prescriber's account is activated in PRD, other Connect Care users can send messages to the prescriber via In Basket and new test results will route to the prescriber's In Basket.

For these and other reasons, it is best to start daily checks now.  A useful In Basket personalization sends alerts to an email of one's choice when there is new In Basket content.

Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Change of Pace

We've previously posted about this being a good time to explore Connect Care's metric, report, visualization, dashboard and other inquiry support tools. Excellent reporting training opportunities continue to be available via MyLearningLink.

Connect Care "Clinical Inquiry Clinics" explore user-submitted cases for match to in-system tools. Resources are provided, casework is shared, and participants can adapt resulting templates to their needs. The first three clinics were offered during at noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. These times have not proved practical for interested clinicians.

The "Clinics" will change to "Consultations". Instead of scheduled sessions, we will consider cases submitted through an online intake form. Consultations are accepted if available Connect Care tools can be used to advantage with available data. The work-up, interventions and outcomes are shared, together with templates and crib-sheets, to allow adaptation to similar needs experienced by others.

2020-10-10

Countdown Checklist W2 L-13: Check Provider Registry Entry

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Confirm PROVIDER REGISTRY Information
The Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) draws from a “provider registry” to store information about clinicians in the CIS. The registry is also a source of information that can affect how CIS user roles and permissions are set up, how providers can find and communicate with one another, and how things like preference lists and referrals work. 

It is important that this information be correct and getting ready for Connect Care launch is a perfect time to validate information about oneself. Specific instructions are provided in: 
Access and identity essentials are described in the Connect Care Physician Manual.

2020-10-09

Connect Care Champions

Thrilled to see one of the CMIO medical informatics education leads recognized for outstanding accomplishment!

Countdown Checklist W2 L-14: Confirm PRD Access

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Check your PRD (Production) Access
All physicians who have completed their InfoCare training and Connect Care Proficiency Assessment (EUPA), should be able to log on to the full production version of Connect Care (PRD) by now.

Please do the following from within an AHS network (AHSRESTRICT) or from outside with the aid of a RSA security fob or token:
  1. Go to myapps.ahs.ca and log on with your AHS username and password. Can't get in? See "Access Problems" in the Physician Manual.
  2. Once logged on to myapps.ahs.ca, ensure that the PRD (production) Connect Care icon is available. If not, see "CIS Access" in the Manual.
  3. Open PRD and log on with your AHS username and password. Can't get in? Contact AHS IT Service Desk or ConnectCare.SupportTeam.Security@ahs.ca
We are trying to identify Wave 2 users who somehow got missed in access provisioning. Do not expect access if InfoCare or EUPA is not complete.

2020-10-08

Clinical Inquiry Case #3 - Recordings - Clinical Productivity

Those who cannot make the Connect Care Inquiry Clinics scheduled times can access related recordings:

Participants are encouraged to check the Manual section on Reporting Workbench for background information, additional tips, e-learnings and guides. 

2020-10-07

MyAHS Connect (Patient Portal) Virtual Office Hours

We've previously posted about why this is the right time to promote Connect Care's patient portal, MyAHS Connect.

Although it is possible for physicians to initiate the patient activation process, it is bests for team members to collaborate taking advantage of every clinic or ER visit and every hospitalization. 

Clinics and wards working to improve patient participation in care can take advantage of virtual office hours focusing on portal activation processes:

Resources are available to help with clinic and team preparations, with current topics:
  • Activation workflows
  • Staff and provider roles in activation
  • Patient tasks and responsibilities
  • Proxy access processes

Countdown Checklist W2 L-16: Anticipate Cutover

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Anticipate Cutover
Cutover is a process through which key pieces of information about admitted patients are entered into Connect Care prior to launch. The primary concern for physicians will be the management of medication and non-medication orders, and the translation of important information about patients’ clinical status from a paper record to an electronic one. Physicians should anticipate, and mobilize resources for, three key tasks as part of cutover processes near launch:
  1. Validating continuing medications to be entered by pharmacists 48 hours prior to launch,
  2. Documenting continuing non-medication orders to be entered by the cutover nurses and dieticians starting 72 hours prior to launch, and
  3. Validating entered orders on the launch morning.
The following FAQ can help physicians prepare for cutover activities, which can vary by facility (e.g., long term care vs acute care):

2020-10-06

Countdown Checklist W2 L-17: Confirm Connect Care Access and Login Role

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Confirm Access and Role(s)
Do you, or could you, have clinical duties October 24, 2020, or following at a Wave 2 Site? If so, it is essential that you confirm NOW that you have access to the AHS Network (insite.ahs.ca), to the Unified Access Portal (myapps.ahs.ca) and to Production (PRD) Connect Care. A successful PRD login (using your AHS username and password) is just the start. It is also important that a PRD login opens a clinical information system environment appropriate to one's roles and duties. Best to sort out any problems now, well before launch.

A "virtual login lab" allows Wave 2 clinicians to confirm that they have access to the right tools in the right way. Follow these steps (in order):
  • Complete basic training, the associated end-user proficiency assessment (EUPA) and On Our Best Behavior (InfoCare privacy training).
  • Login to myapps.ahs.ca and launch Connect Care production (PRD).
  • At the Hyperspace logon screen, enter your AHS username and password.
  • If multiple "jobs" are presented (multi-role physician), complete the rest of this process for each in turn.
  • When asked for a "Department", choose the appropriate zone virtual clinical department (e.g., Edmonton Zone Cardiology, Edmonton Zone Pediatrics, etc.).
  • Once opened into Hyperspace, use the search function (top right corner), type "CMIO" and jump to the "CMIO Login Labs Info" activity. Alternately, select the top left 'Epic' button, then the "Help" then "CMIO Login Labs Info" submenu item.
  • Examine the information provided and complete the linked survey to indicate whether the physician roles and templates appear correct.
For more information:

2020-10-05

Countdown Checklist W2 L-18: Get Ready for Mobility

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians preparing for Connect Care Launch October 24, 2020...
  • Get Ready for Connect Care Mobility and Speech Recognition
Connect Care mobile applications allow access to the patient chart on your mobile devices anywhere you have access to the internet. Dragon Medical One transforms your Android or Apple cell phone into a microphone for transcription directly into the medical record. Alberta Health Services uses the "Workspace ONE" application to distribute these applications to your mobile devices and ensure they operate in a manner that works best for Connect Care and protects patient information.
  • Haiku – Connect Care on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Limerick - Installs on Apple Watch and works with Haiku alerting functions.
  • Canto – Connect Care on your iPad.
  • PowerMic Mobile – Installs to iPhone or Android phones for speech recognition (allowing in-system dictation and voice commands to your Connect Care session).
Mobile apps have proven very popular with physicians. They simplify anywhere/anytime access to lists, patient information, dictation, notes, orders and communications. Clinicians will want to set these up as soon as basic training is complete and personalization training is underway:

2020-10-04

Connect Care Wave 3 Training Registration... NOW

Registration is now open for training of Wave 3 physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical assistants and other prescribers who are new to Connect Care and anticipating launch, February 27, 2021.

Email notifications have gone out from Calgary Zone and North Zone Medical Affairs to all affected physicians. Separate notifications have gone out from Advanced Practice Nursing. Prescribers are invited to register for training with instructions about how to do this through MyLearningLink  (mylearninglink.ahs.ca).

Prescriber training is offered in three modes:
  • In-classroom training (COVID prevention precautions in place)
  • Virtual training (via Zoom)
  • Online training through independent learning modules
The best mix is determined for each trainee, covering key Connect Care skills for the user's clinical context.  Super Users will fan out to assist with training while building relationships with the user groups they will support at launch.

Prescribers who expect but have not received a training invitation should contact:
For more information about Medical Staff training, please visit:

2020-10-03

Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case #3: Professional Productivity

We've previously posted about this being a good time to explore Connect Care's measure, report, visualization, dashboard and other inquiry support tools. Excellent reporting training opportunities continue to be available via MyLearningLink.

Connect Care Inquiry Clinics explore user-submitted cases, considering the best match of problem to in-system reporting, analytic or visualization tools. Resources are provided, casework is shared, and participants are encouraged to adapt learnings to their needs. Case referrals are accepted where available Connect Care tools can be used to advantage with data already available (rob.hayward@ahs.ca).

Inquiry Clinics occur approximately weekly via Zoom Thursdays at noon. We no longer support the Tuesday session as this did not fit well with participant schedules:
  • Thursday noon (12:00-13:00)
The third clinic is scheduled for October 8, 2020. This week's cases explore how to use Reporting Workbench ('My Reports') to generate lists reflecting clinical productivity. This sort of information can help inform physician annual reporting.

2020-10-02

Countdown Checklist W2 L-21: Meet the Connect Care Concierge

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians preparing for Connect Care Launch October 24, 2020...
  • Meet your Connect Care Concierge! 
A unified intake portal for Connect Care user support, the "Concierge", is at your service!

Check it out and familiarize yourself with methods for seeking help when you need it.

A unified intake process allows user needs to be captured, channeled and tracked. All users, super users and helpers can enter requests and suggestions. The Connect Care “Concierge” service offers a single point of capture for help, feedback, and requests (help.connect-care.ca is easy to remember).

2020-10-01

Countdown Checklist W2 L-22: Check AHS Security Profile

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Update Your AHS Security Profile
This task anticipates future calls to the Alberta Health Services IT HelpDesk or Connect Care Solution Centre. Among other things, physicians may need help with things like logon credentials or remote access FOBs. Understandably, HelpDesk must confirm the identity of the caller. This is done with a security profile, including special questions and answers, that the physician can set up independently, as explained in the Connect Care Manual.

All Wave 2 physicians are asked to check and possibly update their security profile: Upon authenticating to the IAM user section, look for a "Update Security Questions" in the bottom left column. You will set a secret word and answers to a series of security-prompt questions. Remember the answers! (Note - you must have a FOB for external access or do this from within AHS)

2020-09-30

AHS eMail Migration - Check your Junk Mail

We've previously posted about migration of AHS email services to Outlook 365 for many Connect Care physicians.

A few months in, we are hearing surprise from some users checking their "Junk Email" folder to find a proportion of the content clearly not Junk.

Microsoft defines Junk as "...spam, which are unsolicited and universally unwanted messages (when identified correctly)". 

Office 365 servers use Microsoft's "Exchange Online Protection (EOP)" to spare us from phishing, spam and other inappropriate messages. In addition, machine learning is used to further filter messages that may be benign but unwanted.

It appears that the move to a new communications service has triggered some re-learning. 

What to do? Keep a closer eye on your Junk Email folder in Outlook 365, at least for the next few months. When a non-Junk message is found, either right-click and select "Mark as Not Junk" or use a different right-click command to add the sender to one's contacts. Outlook should not flag mail from contacts as junk (unless discovered to be malicious). Outlook will (re)learn and the false-positive rate should go down.

Junk Email settings are configured by AHS. It is not possible for users to opt-out through user preferences. This makes sense because EOP prevents hacking (especially phishing) as well as spam.

2020-09-29

Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case #2 Recordings

The Connect Care Inquiry Clinics continue Tuesday and Thursday at noon. Those who cannot make the scheduled times can access related recordings:

Participants are encouraged to check the Manual section on Reporting Workbench for background information, additional tips, e-learnings and guides. 

2020-09-28

Connect Care Wave 2 Workflow Dress Rehearsals - Physician Participation

An important Wave 2 Connect Care readiness event is soon upon us. A series of "Workflow Dress Rehearsals" (WDR) occur between October 5-6 and 13-14 in outpatient and inpatient settings respectively.

Workflow Dress Rehearsals (WDR) provide clinicians with opportunity for hands-on practice using the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) in simulated workflows. The current CIS build is exposed for testing in real clinical contexts, usually with the computers and devices that will be used at Wave 2 launch. Physicians, nurses, other clinicians, managers and the project team work together to identify any issues and find solutions pre-launch.

The WDR events (at each Wave 2 facility) promote end-user confidence, give teams a chance to check that workflows work as intended, demonstrate that end-users can successfully complete Connect Care and facilitate end-user understanding of downstream effects of their actions.

Physician participation (and help with demonstration) is very important!

For more information and to sign up for participation or observation (physician roles are listed in the schedules):

2020-09-27

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to; see right sidebar instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. Some recent additions to this blog and other channels:

2020-09-26

Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case #2 - Patient Safety & Med Exposure

We've previously posted about this being a good time to explore Connect Care's measure, report, visualization, dashboard and other inquiry support tools. Excellent reporting training opportunities continue to be available via MyLearningLink.

Connect Care Inquiry Clinics explore user-submitted cases, considering the best match of problem to in-system reporting, analytic or visualization tools. Resources are provided, casework is shared, and participants are encouraged to adapt learnings to their needs. Case referrals are accepted where available Connect Care tools can be used to advantage with data already available (rob.hayward@ahs.ca).

Inquiry Clinics occur approximately weekly via Zoom and are repeated to accommodate participant schedules:
  • Tuesday noon (12:00-13:00)
  • Thursday noon (12:00-13:00) repeat
The second clinic is scheduled for September 29 and October 1, 2020. This week's cases explore how to use Reporting Workbench ('My Reports') for some example patient safety queries.

2020-09-25

Connect Care in the Media

Alberta news media reports today that Connect Care launch waves are delayed due to COVID-19. 

This is old information. There is no news that should concern Connect Care stakeholders. 

The media references decisions made at the beginning of the pandemic; decisions long integrated into project planning, delivery and communication.  There are no new delays or other impacts to the upcoming Wave 2 launch scheduled for October 24, 2020.

Connect Care remains one of Alberta Health Service’s top organizational priorities.  Delaying the previously planned Wave 2 launch allowed Connect Care to redirect efforts to development and implementation of COVID-related clinical content and to fast-track public health supports and interfaces that otherwise would have occured in later waves. In short, Connect Care did not slow or pause... it accelerated to address an urgent provincial challenge. 

In addition, teams were able to give more time to post-launch optimization and to redesign of training programs to be more pandemic-tolerant. All clinical content required for the next waves is ready to go, including the validation of content for specialties that are new to Connect Care like Women’s Health. 

Everything is tracking well for the October 24 wave 2 launch, with site readiness work near completion and end user training well underway.

2020-09-24

Help Improve Medication Reconciliation Workflows

Medication documentation is about how medication decisions are recorded, communicated, validated and followed. Medication reconciliation adds a check of a patient's expected and actual home medication use. It is a mandated element of all admissions to inpatient units. 

Medication reconciliation is not easy on paper and proves challenging in digital workflows. We would like to understand why and use that understanding to improve Connect Care.

Please help! 

We are keen to hear from clinicians already using Connect Care at wave 1 sites. A very short survey asks what is working, and not working, with medication reconciliation; and what could be improved. Resources are available to act on survey findings, so responses matter. 

Please provide input before October 23, 2020:

2020-09-23

Connect Care Scheduled Integration Downtime - Thursday September 24, 2020, 00:45-01:30

The Connect Care clinical information system shares information with a number of other health information systems. The associated interfaces need periodic maintenance. 

A scheduled update to the Connect Care integration engine will occur Thursday September 24, 2020 in the early morning hours (after midnight) between 00:45 and 01:30.  Some system interfaces are affected but not the main medical record.

There will be no user-perceived change in function post-update. However, improvements will be made to communication channels between the medical record and some supporting information systems.

During the short downtime, Connect Care users may note delays in patient and clinical information exchanged between Connect Care and other applications. Information entered during the downtime will be queued and then automatically updated once the integration engine restarts. 

PRD will not go offline. In addition, Netcare remains available. 

2020-09-22

Countdown Checklist W2 L-31: Complete and Close Legacy Charts

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch Oct 24, 2020...
  • Complete and close legacy charts
Incomplete charts at Wave 2 sites need physician attention pre-launch. Moving to a new clinical information system (CIS) is hard if our old systems are not tidied up.

Physicians must attend to ALL incomplete Wave 2 AHS health records by October 23, 2020.  This includes outstanding dictations and signatures for inpatient and day surgery health records, not just those that are overdue.

After October 24, 2020, records will be completed through the Connect Care CIS rather than external dictation or eScription.  Any outstanding incomplete records that exist at cutover will not be transitioned into Connect Care.  Any incomplete health records on inpatients discharged after October 24, 2020 will be completed in Connect Care.

Physicians can contact Health Records at the Wave 2 sites Monday to Friday 0745h-1600h to obtain a list of incomplete charts requiring attention:  
  • Sturgeon Community Hospital: 780-418-8242 
  • Leduc Community Hospital:  780-980-4435 
  • Devon General Hospital:  780-342-7010 
  • Westview Health Centre:  780-968-3776 
  • Ft. Saskatchewan Community Hospital:  780-342-3144