2020-02-24

Connect Care Support Resources for Prescribers

While Connect Care Wave 1 continues to stabilize, Waves 2-3 physicians begin to receive training registration requests and other launch readiness alerts.

Recognizing this transition in prescriber support needs, we have updated the relevant sections of the Connect Care Physician Manual to ensure that the materials can serve both established and incoming users.


Please circulate the poster linked below (good for rounds and meeting rooms):

2020-02-23

On other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to; see right sidebar instructions) the Connect Care Updates blog for prescribers. Some recent postings from other channels of general interest:

2020-02-22

Feedback on Connect Care Communication Norms

Connect Care supports a wide range of communication tools, including voice, facsimile, commenting and messaging capabilities. Communication Norms can help users to know what to expect of one another for effective, efficient, safe and respectful information sharing within and between groups.

The Communication Norms are presently under consideration of the Connect Care Council, with final review in a few weeks. Please give these a quick look and then use the following short (2 question) survey to offer any comment or suggestions:

2020-02-21

Office of the Auditor General Reports on Connect Care Preparations

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has just released its review of work leading up to the Wave 1 launch of Connect Care in November 2019. The findings are positive, indicating there was excellent preparation to ensure safe and effective delivery of patient care throughout the launch.

The intent of the audit was to determine whether Alberta Health Services (AHS) had key controls in place to guide successful implementation, and a plan to sustain success after launch.

Highlights of the audit include findings that AHS had processes to:
  • regularly monitor and assess readiness for launch,
  • sustain the system after launch,
  • maintain vendor support leading up to and after launch,
  • manage risks and prioritize patient safety.
The report further identified important success factors:
  • The program was not run as an IT project, but rather a clinical improvement initiative led by stakeholders.
  • Senior executives were assigned as sponsors and were visibly committed throughout.
  • A culture of transparency, accountability and dedication was promoted.
The OAG provided helpful feedback to AHS, leading to more attention to documentation of risk mitigation plans and communication with stakeholders.

2020-02-20

Countdown Checklist W2-3 L-099 - Physician Registries #1

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2-3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch May 30, 2020...
  • Physician Registries Check #1 - ARD 
While Medical Affairs physician lists are meant to guide Connect Care decisions about launch wave participation (specialty assignment and physician clinical contact preferences), this may need updating and Alberta struggles with multiple sources of physician information. Connect Care help consolidate and standardize with a single physician registry. Since individual physician validation tends to happen when onboarding, this is a good time for Wave 2-3 physicians to ensure that provincial databases have current and correct information.

The Alberta Referral Directory (ARD) is a secure, online listing that provides access to service and consultant demographics, referral guidelines and instructions about how to facilitate efficient and effective referrals, including referral forms.

All physicians are encouraged to update their ARD entry, or have responsible clinic staff take care of this for a clinic and all its providers. ARD is incorporated into Connect Care referral workflows.

2020-02-19

Countdown to Wave 2-3 Launch!

Yes, our countdown timer has re-appeared (see top of left column, just above the Search box)!

We are 100 days from the next Connect Care launch.

Having learned how important it is to avoid a last minute rush, our Countdown Checklist starts today, a hundred days out. This allows us to pace sequential tasks and ensure that requirements are met as physicians progress from registration through training, proficiency, personalization and launch readiness.

Countdown Checklist W2-3 L-100 - Are you in?

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 2-3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch May 30, 2020...
  • Are you in Connect Care Waves 2-3? 
An obvious first checklist task is to determine whether Wave 2-3 tasks even apply!

For most physicians, that determination is made by Medical Affairs. Lists of clinic members, those with hospital privileges, visiting surgeons and on-call contributors are used to generate invitations to Wave 2-3 physicians. Despite this, it is possible that some physicians with new site responsibilities -- and some physicians who have already trained in Wave 1 -- might be missed.

Physicians should check the clinics and hospitals slated for Wave 2-3 launch and be sure that they have been invited to participate if they expect to work at those sites.

2020-02-18

Connect Care Communication Norms

Connect Care seeks to improve continuity of information, relationships and intent in service of a coherent healthcare experience for patients and providers. Relational continuity is supported by good communication.

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 messaging capabilities. 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. The Norms are still at an early stage, under consideration by the Connect Care Council. Feedback is welcomed.

2020-02-17

Dragon Dictation support within Connect Care Mobility Apps

Physicians using Haiku and/or Canto can take advantage of Nuance Dragon voice recognition and dictation support right within Connect Care mobility apps.

Dragon Medical One remains the app to use when dictating into a patient's chart open on a desktop or tablet device in Hyperspace. But what if you are rounding at the bedside and want to quickly dictate the content of a progress note that you can add to and clean up later when in the comfort of your office with your favourite computer?

Previously, the only way to dictate into a Haiku note was to make use of the native speech recognition in the mobile device. That might struggle with technical terms. Now you have access to all the Dragon smarts. A demo shows how (be sure to update to the latest version of Haiku or Canto):

2020-02-16

On other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to; see right sidebar instructions) the Connect Care Updates blog for physicians. Some recent postings from other channels of general interest:

2020-02-15

Connect Care Waves 2-3 Countdown Checklist

Starting a list of essential actions for Wave 2-3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch May 30, 2020...
  • Bookmark Connect Care Countdown Checklist 
A countdown checklist can help physicians to get ready for their Connect Care launch by breaking a complex undertaking into a series of simple tasks. The order is important; starting with the actions needed to do future work without hassle.

Each checklist item includes brief explanatory notes plus links to relevant tips, demonstrations, resources or guides.

Please subscribe to this blogging channel, where all checklist items are posted. You can also bookmark the checklist-only link and check-in periodically.

2020-02-14

Physician Resources Editorial Board

The Connect Care updates (blogs.connect-care.ca), physician manual (manual.connect-care.ca), web pages (connect-care.ca) and other supports for physicians increasingly balance the stabilization needs of Wave 1 with the readiness needs of Waves 2-3. Tips and guides are tweaked to reflect first launch learnings, while ensuring that these address upcoming launch contexts.

A CMIO editorial board was established in late 2019. It meets weekly now, busy with the work of ensuring that training, news, social media and other communications are consistent, physician-aware,  and optimized for the current state of our Connect Care journey.

We hope that users will find fewer gaps in the Manual; with guidance consolidated in fewer points of access. Indeed, the Manual is a gateway to all other resources.

2020-02-13

Connect Care Reporting Content Certification

With the Wave 1 launch behind us, we are working to ensure the Connect Care in-system dashboards, metrics and reports are working as expected.

We know that many measures (e.g., lab utilization, minimum use norms compliance, etc.) will take months to stabilize. The clinical information system will not have solid metric denominators until at least the six month mark. In addition, we need to confirm that what is measured adequately represents what is supposed to be measured. This will be an iterative process. We are not hiding reports, but we need to be transparent about which measures have been tweaked sufficiently to be trustworthy. To accomplish this, we are using a certification process with easy-to-recognize visual data quality markers.

Why are we verifying reporting measures now, after the Wave 1 launch?
Prior to the Wave 1 launch, all reporting content was carefully validated. But this had to use test data, as there were no real patients in the system. Now we verify the validated measures using the data that Connect Care has captured and stored. The verification process is called certification.

How will I know if a measure or report has been certified?
Once a given dashboard or report is certified, a ribbon icon will appear on the screen in Connect Care. A blue ribbon appears on certified Dashboards, a purple ribbon appears on certified Reporting Workbench reports and an orange ribbon indicates certified Crystal reports.

What if the content I need has not been certified yet?
All reporting content should be used with caution, as there may be variation and inaccuracies until certification is complete. Even then, one must always apply clinical common sense; alert to possible anomalies in how source information is entered, for what purpose, and with what consistency.

Will prescriber-identifiable information be visible?
No. AHS is committed to not expose identifiable data about prescribers (physicians and others). Should you encounter any examples of physician-identifiable information, please report it to the Clinical Inquiry Support Unit at cisu@ahs.ca.

Which measures are priority for early certification?
Our first focus is on measures that support real-time clinical and operational decision-making about health service delivery. Five areas receive early attention: Emergency Departments, Operating Rooms, Capacity Management, Patient Safety and Launch Dashboards.

Where can I get more information?
If you are a Wave 1 user with questions about content certification, contact us at ConnectCare.WMCImplementationTeam@ahs.ca.

2020-02-12

Connect Care Optimization Clinic #9 - Clinical Communications

Optimization clinics are facilitated by peers and focused on challenging use cases. A short presentation is followed by questions, discussion and suggestions from participants. User supports are updated in the Physician Manual and Physician Updates.

A ninth Connect Care Optimization Clinic is offered in a single session at noon on February 19. All are welcome.

Topic: Clinical Communications
  • Facilitator: Rob Hayward & team
  • Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
  • Time: 1200-1300
  • Description:
    • Connect Care offers a number of communication tools that clinicians can take advantage of when coordinating care. These include commenting, messaging, tasking and secure chat capabilities.
    • This session will distinguish the different categories of communication tools, highlighting matching communication needs.
    • Demonstrations include 5 types of sticky notes, different In-Basket mailings, In-Basket reminders and secure chat.
    • New Connect Care communication norms will be introduced
  • Preparation:
    • If you’ve never used Zoom, the Webinar software used for the clinics, we recommend you do a test call prior to the session here: https://zoom.us/test.
    • Short demo videos on how to participate in a call can be found here: https://zoom.us/resources

2020-02-11

All-User Bulletin: Professional Billing with Mobile Apps

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

Professional Billing with Mobile Apps
Connect Care applications for smartphones (Haiku) and iPads (Canto) support rapid charge recording for physicians who use Connect Care for professional billing documentation and/or claims submissions.

Unfortunately, instances have been discovered where the mobile billing function does not filter viewable claims to those of the currently signed-on user. The mobile filtering problem proves more complicated than any quick fix can solve. Epic is working on the problem.

A multi-stakeholder group has arrived at the difficult decision to turn off professional billing in Connect Care mobile applications (Haiku and Canto) until the charge filter problem is fixed. Full functionality remains in Hyperspace and no personalizations or existing submissions are affected. 

2020-02-10

Connect Care February 2020 Calendar

A summary of key Connect Care happenings in February 2020 has been posted to the Alberta Health Services (AHS) internal Connect Care website, linked below.

2020-02-09

On other channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to; see right sidebar instructions) the Connect Care Updates blog for physicians. Visiting periodically is sufficient to keep up with key developments as Connect Care progresses from first launch to deployment throughout Alberta.

This blog is complemented by a number of "channels", each accessed via one of the navigation buttons above or a link in the list below:
Some recent postings from other channels of general interest:

2020-02-08

Connect Care Wave Sequencing Update


Following extensive consultation, it proves necessary to shift the timing for Waves 4 and 5 of the ongoing province-wide roll out of Connect Care. Patient care and safety, as always, were the prime considerations.  Other factors include:
  • New Grande Prairie Regional Hospital (GPRH): Connect Care must be deployed at the existing Queen Elizabeth II hospital, so that staff and physicians are fully trained and stabilized begin to serve patients in the new facility designed for digital records. With a commissioning date now set, it is necessary to move up launch for affected sites and services in North Zone.
  • Reducing the length of high risk transitional states: large hospitals in the Edmonton Zone are in an interim state between Connect Care rollouts, with particular challenges because needed support systems are retiring and results are hard to route appropriately. 
As a result of this sequencing adjustments:
  • Some sites and services in the North Zone (which currently use the Meditech clinical information system) move from Wave 5 to Wave 4. This includes the Queen Elizabeth II hospital. 
  • Some sites and services in the Central Zone (which currently use the Meditech clinical information system) will, by necessity, move from Wave 4 to Wave 5. 
This decision was not taken lightly and is considered the best approach based on new developments.  And further adjustments may be needed. Many changes can influence dependencies within zones and waves. We will continue to be nimble and flexible as we move forward, adapting to needs of patients, staff and physicians.



The usual Connect Care sequencing resources are kept current:

2020-02-07

Join Patient Access 2022!

Myth: Digital health is just for health care providers.

Fact: 50% of Canadians now report they can access at least one health service online, such as viewing their health information, making an appointment with a physician and consulting with a health care provider.

Providing patients with timely access to their health information is an important part of patient engagement and empowerment, which are linked to improved chronic disease management. In fact, engaged patients use less urgent and after hour services.



2020-02-06

Practical Paranoia - Celebrating our Cybersecurity Team

We've oft posted about alert fatigue and physician burnout. Despite our best efforts to design the Connect Care clinical information system for efficient interaction, we continually seek ways to reduce clinicians' total informational burdens.

A recent CHIME newsletter article describes how alert fatigue is not just for clinicians! Fascinating to read about the struggles of our cybersecurity teams, who are constantly bombarded by alerts to possible new security threats. Their work is high-stakes-high-stress. Health care organizations crippled by hackers suffer great financial, reputational and health care losses.

2020-02-05

Connect Care Optimization Clinic #8 - Patient Communications

Optimization clinics are facilitated by peers and focused on challenging use cases. A short presentation is followed by questions, discussion and suggestions from participants. User supports are updated in the Physician Manual and Physician Updates.

An eighth Connect Care Optimization Clinic is offered at two times of day (duplicate clinics) to fit clinical schedules. All are welcome. Please complete a short pre-clinic survey to share information about your needs.
  • Topic: Patient Portal Tips
  • Facilitator: Rob Hayward & team
  • Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
  • Pre-clinic Needs Survey: ahs-cis.ca/clinic-8-survey
  • Time #1: 0700-0800
  • Time #2: 1200-1300
  • Description:
    • The MyAHS Connect patient portal launched with Wave 1 on November 3, 2019. Although some functions (e.g. self-scheduling) are only available to requesting clinics, features like secure communications have been turned on for all clinics.
    • It is important for prescribers to understand how patient messaging works, how messages can be attached to test results, and what happens when patients initiate a message to a clinician. 
    • We will highlight preparations that clinics need in order to use patient messaging safely.
  • Preparation:
    • If you’ve never used Zoom, the Webinar software used for the clinics, we recommend you do a test call prior to the session here: https://zoom.us/test.
    • Short demo videos on how to participate in a call can be found here: https://zoom.us/resources

2020-02-04

Connect Care Scheduled Downtime - Thursday February 13, 2020, 00:30-04:30

The Connect Care production environment (PRD) needs periodic maintenance. This allows system fixes and updates to be installed without risking database content. Updates will be more frequent this spring as we ready for a quarterly upgrade.

The next scheduled update will occur Thursday February 13, 2020 in the early morning hours of (between midnight 00:30 and 04:30).  PRD  and the provider portals will be affected.

While PRD is offline, access to "PRDSRO" remains. This is a read-only copy of the most recent production (PRD) and allows all patient data to be reviewed. Any urgent orders or documentation that must be completed while PRD is offline can be handled through a combination of paper, eScription (provincial dictation) and Netcare activities. Try to postpone and avoid use of paper, as PRD is likely to be restored quickly.

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".

Additional instruction remains available in the Connect Care Physician Manual:

2020-02-03

Alberta Health Services Performance Review Released

Alberta Health contracted Ernst and Young to conduct a performance review during 2019. The review recommendations are now available and subject of intense work to see how opportunities for improvement can be actioned.

While the Connect Care initiative was not in scope for this review (there is a separate external review looking at health information systems provincially), the report highlights a number of benefits that the provincial clinical information system can help realize. In general, the report is positive about Alberta Health Services achievements and prospects.

For more information:

2020-02-02

Connect Care Optimization Clinic #7 - Intra-facility Transitions

Optimization clinics are facilitated by peers and focused on challenging use cases. A short presentation is followed by questions, discussion and suggestions from participants. User supports are updated in the Physician Manual and Physician Updates.

A seventh Connect Care Optimization Clinic is offered at two times of day (duplicate clinics) to fit clinical schedules. All are welcome. Please complete a short pre-clinic survey to share information about your needs.
  • Topic: Intra-facility Transitions
  • Facilitator: Tim Chan
  • Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
  • Pre-clinic Needs Survey: ahs-cis.ca/clinic-7-survey
  • Time #1: 0700-0800
  • Time #2: 1200-1300
  • Description:
    • Transitions of care (from one provider, team or site to another) can occur within (intra) or between (inter) facilities. This session explores workflows when physicians hand over patient care to other providers, patients move from one service to another (intra-facility) or from one context to another (e.g., ICU to ward). 
    • We will highlight gaps to avoid and tricks for efficient transitions.
  • Preparation:
    • If you’ve never used Zoom, the Webinar software used for the clinics, we recommend you do a test call prior to the session here: https://zoom.us/test.
    • Short demo videos on how to participate in a call can be found here: https://zoom.us/resources

2020-02-01

Epic top of Klas yet again!

Epic System's electronic health record software, the centrepiece of Connect Care's clinical information system (CIS), continues to excel in the 'Best in KLAS' awards... for a 10th straight year!

The 2020 awards, based on an annual survey of health information system users (including opinions of physicians and other health care decision-makers from >4,500 hospitals and >2,500 clinics), go to Epic in the categories of Inpatient (Acute Care), Outpatient, Application Hosting, Practice Management and Patient Portals.

We are happy to work with such a strong technology partner!

2020-01-31

Allen Ausford Presents Alberta's Experience with Interoperation

The Canadian Health Care Technology "Sharing Health Information Success Stories" series features Dr. Allen Ausford, a Connect Care Medical Informatics Lead (and co-chair of the Clinical Decision Support Committee) for its January webinar.

Allen speaks about Alberta's experience with the Netcare health information exchange. This pulls information from diverse sources so that clinicians can view key health information about patients they serve.

The 45 minute presentation is recorded with the help of Orion Health:

2020-01-30

Wave 2-3 Workflow Walkthrough February 5, 2020

With the Connect Care Wave 2-3 launch (May 30, 2020) getting closer, there are more opportunities to validate how the clinical information system (CIS) will support workflows at new launch sites.

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

The Wave 2-3 Walkthrough event will be held February 5, 2020, at a variety of locations, including online, supported by Skype teleconferencing. The Workflow Walkthrough videos are available on Insite (links below).

  • 08:15 - Welcome and Introductions
  • 08:30 - End-to-end Patient Journey
  • 09:00 - Scheduling and Registration Demonstration
  • 09:50 - Rural Nursing Workflow
  • 11:00 - Long Term Care 
  • 12:35 - Ambulatory Care
  • 13:10 - Labour and Delivery
  • 14:10 - Surgical Workflows

Although all interested physicians are encouraged to contribute, the Walkthrough event spans an entire workday. Only some parts will pertain. Please take a look at the agenda and consider whether any of the blocks offer an important feedback opportunity. Session recordings will be posted on Insite afterwards.

2020-01-29

Connect Care Champions

We continue to marvel at the energy and enthusiasm of our physician informaticians. They give backbone to physician engagement and adoption.

It is always nice to see a colleague's contributions celebrated. Join us in recognizing the work of Eddie Bolster who serves as a medical informatics lead, area trainer, super user and physician builder!

2020-01-28

Automated Patient Appointment Reminders go Live

Connect Care ambulatory care clinics can leverage the efficiency of automated appointment reminders for patients with upcoming clinic, day surgery, therapy or investigation visits.

The system was integrated with the clinical information system (CIS) January 27, 2020, supporting appointments from January 30, 2020 forward. Ultimately, the system will facilitate the over 25,000 reminders daily handled by legacy processes.

The automated reminder system supplements information and instructions that are sent out via mail or MyAHS Connect (patient portal), with prospect for fewer missed appointments and improved patient choice. However, it is important for physicians to ensure that their clinic has made the necessary arrangements, scheduling staff are ready, and that patient education materials are in-clinic.

The following resources can help physicians answer patients' questions:

2020-01-27

Connect Care Waves 2-3 - Timeline

As Connect Care wave 1 continues to stabilize, preparations accelerate for the combined waves 2 & 3 launch in May 2020.
We've previously posted about wave sequence adjustments. While work continues to further adjust for the opening of a new hospital in the North Zone, the next launch is locked-in. A timeline with key milestones can help participants and stakeholders to pace preparations:

2020-01-26

Downtime Resources for Physicians

Connect Care has its next scheduled downtime overnight (early hours of Tuesday January 28, 2020 sometime between 00:01-0400).

Straightforward instructions for physicians (which complement the more detailed Connect Care Downtime Resources at ahs-cis.ca/downtime) have been updated and streamlined: