Wave 1 Shadow Charting Sept 23-25

Shadow Charting helps Connect Care participants assure readiness for launch of the clinical information system (CIS). It focuses front-line attention on complex, high-impact and high-volume workflows. It also provides opportunity to confirm that medical device interfaces, multidisciplinary workflows, and information processes are properly supported by the CIS.

By performing documentation tasks in parallel (legacy and new Connect Care), important gaps can be identified while there is still time to take corrective action. Change management plans can be fine-tuned based on Shadow Charting experiences. For more information, check the following 1-pager:


Wondering what to do about a Netcare expiring access notice?

Have you received an email from "Identity Management Services" with the subject "Action Required - Your Alberta Netcare Portal (ANP) Access is nearing its Expiry Date"?

No worry. Odds are there is no action needed.

It is important that access to the Alberta Netcare Portal be limited to authorized providers. New processes were introduced May 2019 by Alberta Health Services (AHS) Identity Management Services (IAM), moving to yearly validation of Netcare user accounts.

Happily, the process should be invisible to most physicians. IAM checks with Zone Medical Affairs to confirm that a physician remains in good standing. Medical Affairs is notified with 60 days to spare and is reminded if confirmation is not received by 45 days. If no response is received thereafter, further reminders go out at 30, 15 and 2 days; all copied to the affected physician.

Unfortunately, a glitch has resulted in expiration notices being copied to physicians at 60 and 45 days. This will be corrected as of October 1st, 2019.

Many physicians have received emails asking them to take action by contacting a named authorized approver, someone they don't recognize or know how to contact. Please ignore such emails unless the expire date is within a month of the notification date. In that case, contact zone medical affairs to ask what has happened with the annual Netcare renewal process.


First Looks for Physicians

A separate blog channel focuses on the interests of medical informaticians, emphasizing information and demonstrations that can help them help colleagues. Consider subscribing.

We've just started a "first looks" series of postings. These highlight Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) features that, for one reason or another, are not included in training and are seen for the first time when physicians gain access to production environments as part of personalization workshops.

Check it out:


Patient Movement Day Moves Mountains

Connect Care Wave 1 Patient Movement Day (PMD) is progressing brilliantly at Bernard Snell Hall, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton Zone. Come join us and see our Connect Care collective in action!

Seeing multidisciplinary teams walking through collaborative tasks, coordinating handoffs and facilitating a smooth patient journey, is impressive; especially as the demonstrations are so well facilitated by clinicians using the Connect Care clinical information system build (CIS).

Great to see Bernard Snell Hall at full capacity. Great to see colleagues demonstrating and working together.

Afternoon hands-on explorations were also well attended. Many had opportunity to try different ways of interacting with the CIS and replicating some of the patient transition steps demonstrated in the morning.


Connect Care Training for Medical Office Assistants

Use of the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) is supported wherever, whenever and for whomever Connect Care is the record of care.

Many physicians will serve where Connect Care is the record of care but Alberta Health Services (AHS) is not the provider of care. Some of these physicians work through partner or affiliate organizations and others are members of independent practices or networks.

All Wave 1 physicians should know their Connect Care relationship and training arrangements. Some, however, are concerned about training Medical Office Assistants (MOA) whose activities include facilitating clinical communications, patient preparation, case scheduling and other informational tasks. The activities vary by clinic and specialty.

Just like the physicians they support, MOAs need to register for the training tracks that fit their work. This happens automatically for AHS support staff. The process can be more confusing for MOAs in  independent health service organizations or private practices.

Medical Affairs has tried to identify all MOAs who need to be supported for the Wave 1 launch of the Connect Care CIS. All physicians registered for Wave 1 should ensure that all of their MOAs needing CIS access are identified to Medical Affairs, have their job tasks defined, and are allocated to appropriate training tracks.  If in doubt, contact Josephine Amelio (medical affairs) as a matter of urgency.


Connect Care Waves 2 & 3 Launch Together

Alberta Health Services executive leaders explain some recent adjustments to the Waves 2 and 3 launch dates...

With the launch of Connect Care’s Wave One just weeks away, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all who are involved in preparing for this milestone event in Alberta. We know that Connect Care will have a positive impact on Alberta’s healthcare system, and will ensure healthcare teams and patients can access the same current information about their care. 

In Wave One, sites at the Walter C Mackenzie (WCM) Campus, the East Edmonton Health Centre, Pharmacy and Diagnostic Imaging sites in the Edmonton Zone, Alberta Public Labs sites in Edmonton and the North Zone, DynaLIFE sites across Alberta and the Cross Cancer Institute, will be the first to put Connect Care in place.  

We want to let you know that as we move rapidly toward the November launch of Wave One, there have been changes made to the timing of the next Connect Care waves. 

·         Wave One and Wave Three timelines will not be impacted and the overall timelines and plans will not be affected by this change.

·         A decision has been made to align the timing of Waves Two and Three to take advantage of learnings from Wave One, ensure we have enough time and resources to properly finish our first wave implementation and to address any potential system issues that arise through Wave One, before we move ahead with the subsequent waves. 

·         Wave Two will move from March 2020 to May 2020, to coincide with the timing of the Wave Three launch. 

The successful implementation of Connect Care remains an organizational priority, and this is in no way an indication of changes to support for the program overall. Aligning Waves Two and Three will benefit staff, sites and the program by giving us more time to optimize Wave One and prepare staff for the change, recruit relief staff to support training, complete facility infrastructure work, and benefit from what we learn in Wave One. Connect Care program leadership is working closely with impacted zones on timelines and scheduling. 

We are so very grateful for the contribution and commitment of teams across Alberta, both inside and beyond our organization, who have been hard at work preparing AHS and our partners for Connect Care. Please take a moment to watch a video message from Dr. Verna Yiu, AHS President and CEO, about all the activities underway to get us to this important upcoming milestone.

Thank you Connect Care Community!

A message from Alberta Health Services CEO Verna Yiu:


Reporting CIS Problems Pre-Launch

All users of the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) will have easy access to a comprehensive “solution centre” at first launch. This captures user needs, problems, bug-reports and requests via telephone, web, email, super users and drop-in venues... whatever works best for the user.

Pre-launch validation and training activities stimulate invaluable user feedback. This includes bug reports, enhancement suggestions and new content requests. Early Connect Care users can use simple intake emails until the solution centre deploys.

Bugs (overt failure or unintended action when a function is clicked or workflow tried) and minor design issues (misspelling, screen layout issue, inconsistent labels for similar functions, etc.) can be sent to:
A very simple norm can make it easier to triage feedback based on the email subject line, as explained in a resource for Connect Care users:


Wave 1 Patient Movement Day Agenda

As previously posted, Patient Movement Day (PMD) gives opportunity to confirm how the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) can support the many complex movements and information flows that can occur before, during and after an inpatient hospitalization. These transitions will figure prominently in Wave 1 change management.

Physicians are affected by many high-stakes patient transitions. Please review the following agenda and plan to attend to learn, ask and help with CIS validation.  This is important, as corrective tweaks now can make a big difference to launch experiences for physicians.

Bernard Snell Hall, 08:30, September 18, 2019:
  • 08:30 - Opening remarks, introduction and overview
  • Scenarios and Demonstrations
    • 08:50 - ER --> inpatient --> other site procedure --> return to inpatient
    • 09:30 - Inpatient --> radiology --> inpatient
    • 09:50 - Outpatient --> inpatient direct admit
    • 10:10 - Inpatient --> community hospital transfer (RAAPID repatriation)
    • 10:30 - Inpatient --> cath lab --> inpatient
    • 11:00 - Inpatient --> OR --> post-op --> inpatient
    • 11:30 - Inpatient organ donation --> OR --> deceased
    • 12:00 - Critical care --> inpatient --> home
    • 12:30 - Wrap up
  • Practice Centres - 13:00-16:30
    • Emergency department
    • Inpatient Physicians
    • Operating Room
    • Radiology
    • Cath Lab


Wave 1 Patient Movement Day - Wednesday Sept 18, 2019!

Patient Movement Day (PMD) is an important Connect Care readiness event, as previously posted. Clinical stakeholders examine clinical information system (CIS) supports for the transitions, hand-offs and other information flows essential to a smooth in-patient journey.

Physician input is critical for:
  • Validating admission, transfer and discharge navigators
  • Confirming that the CIS fits the the sequence of events that must occur to move patients safely and efficiently within acute care settings.
Many transitions are physician dependent and so prominent in the afternoon demonstrations. 
  • Who: Walter C Mackenzie Health Science Centre (UAH, Mazinkowski, Stollery) physicians and staff
  • When: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
    • 08:30-12:45 - Demonstrations and scenarios
    • 13:00-16:00 - Practice centres, Discussion, Q&A
  • Where: Bernard Snell Hall, 8440 112 St NW, Edmonton
  • Byte: Patient Movement Day


Connect Care Physician Resources Updated

The CMIO portfolio maintains a set of links, references, tips and other aids specifically adapted to the needs of busy prescribers adopting the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS).

As we move from design and build to readiness and launch, the physician user population grows with new needs and interests. Accordingly, we have updated our 1-page resource summary (resources.connect-care.ca) to emphasize the sorts of things most needed before, during and just after wave 1 launch in the Edmonton Zone.

A new "physician manual" link (manual.connect-care.ca) will soon feature an essential set of tips, tricks and norms to help new Connect Care users navigate launch activities.


Wave 1 Patient Movement Day - Physician Practice Centre

Patient Movement Day (PMD) is an important Connect Care readiness event, giving opportunity to see how patient transfers, transitions, investigations and other inpatient movements are supported, actioned and documented in the clinical information system (CIS).

Physicians commonly initiate patient movements... and feel the pain of inefficient transitions! Accordingly, it is very important for inpatient physicians to try to attend one or more of the morning PMD demonstrations. In addition (or instead if time is limited), attendance any time in the afternoon Physician Practice Centre will allow direct interaction with demonstrations and practice scenarios.

What does the Physician Practice Centre have to offer?

  • Demonstrations - step-by-step walk-through of CIS actions facilitating transfers
  • Practice - opportunity for hands-on trial of transfer and transition orders, navigators and activities
  • Learning - ask questions and discuss how to enter transfer orders, know if things like medrec are required and when to use a Leave of Absence order, and how to manage phases of care for surgical episodes.
What PMD demonstrations are most relevant to physicians?
  • Transfer orders
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Leave of absence orders
  • Discharge summary navigator
  • Transfer navigator
  • Phases of Care


Connect Care Wave 1 Drop-in Playground

Physicians anticipating Connect Care's wave 1 launch (November 3, 2019) are already completing basic training and getting ready for personalization workshops. There may be questions that sink in well after the in-person support available in training classes.

A "PLY" online environment (via ahs-cis.ca/cis) provides a working instance of the clinical information system (CIS) where learnings can be practiced. In addition, an in-person drop-in playground is available to all physicians who have completed basic training:

  • Tuesdays & Thursdays, 07:00-19:00
  • Walter C Mackenzie (University of Alberta Hospital) 4th floor Atrium.
The drop-in playground promotes:
  • Seeing and trying typical computer devices to be used in Connect Care settings
  • Getting tips about using computer devices effectively during patient encounters
  • Practicing (with help) CIS workflows
  • Asking questions about CIS modules


More Information for Clinicians not using Connect Care as the Record of Care

The Connect Care Non-AHS Community Physician Advisory Group (NACPAG) is ramping up communications about about how Connect Care affects results and reports routing for physicians who do not use Connect Care as their record of care.

If this interests you, consider subscribing to the "Bridges" Connect Care blog. The current theme is results routing, but the blog has lasting value covering issues that matter to our non-Connect Care colleagues.


Physician Training - Helping Out

Helping almost 2000 prescribers through Connect Care basic training proves quite the challenge!

Overall, we are pleased to hear how well most physicians are progressing. Of course there are stumbles and we are grateful for your patience when this happens. It is reassuring to see physicians step forward and solve problems in the moment. This, above all, shows that we take ownership of Connect Care; owning whether transformation helps more than it hurts.

The early training sessions have been troubled by some glitches getting credit for competency assessments --> a new attestation pathway takes care of this. There have been delays responding to email queries --> the training team has taken over the account and is well through a backlog of emails.

Theme? We are learning and improving as we go. Things get better with every day of training. Thanks for helping to tackle challenges. In the end, it is a privilege to have physicians training physicians, and well worth the logistics nightmare.

Please do not let frustration fester. Give the training support email another chance and let us know what you need. We'll keep blogging here as fixes emerge of general interest. Thanks!


Physician Training - First Month - By the Numbers

Our prescriber training team, lead by Dr Vanessa Maclean, moves mountains!

The number and complexity of Connect Care courses, all heeding our prescribers-training-prescribers commitment, is truly staggering. We thank all leaders, trainers, super-users, informaticians and many other supports for making Connect Care adoption possible. Training and personalization are the strongest predictors of clinician satisfaction.

Of the 1885 physicians who need to be readied for Wave 1 launch in November:
  • 85% are registered and allocated to training slots
  • 37% have completed basic training
  • 13% have completed competency assessments 
  • 82% are set up for personalization labs
We are learning, and getting better, all the time. Thank you to all training participants for being patient and growing with us!


Connect Care Continues to Move Forward

Excerpt from today's message from our Alberta Health Services President and CEO, Dr Verna Yiu...

Teams  across the province are actively engaged in bringing the Connect Care program to life. I want to say thank you to everyone involved and supporting this important launch.

As expected, the Government of Alberta on Thursday announced they are reviewing the provincial health information systems: Alberta Netcare, MyHealth Records and the Connect Care clinical information system, with a specific deliverable to ensure digital health information is used effectively to deliver more coordinated services and better results for patients, without duplication. We will participate fully in this review and look forward to its findings. 

This does not affect our work in preparing for Connect Care, and I want to reassure you that we are moving forward.

We know that Connect Care will have a positive impact on Alberta’s healthcare system, and lead to improved efficiencies and better patient care. We are committed to seeing it through to completion. 

We are so very grateful for the contribution and commitment of teams across Alberta, both inside and beyond our organization, who have been hard at work preparing AHS and our partners for Connect Care. Thousands of people have contributed thousands of hours to build, design and pave the way to better healthcare for Albertans. We thank you for all you are doing, especially as you are reaching peak activities to support this program. 

Full steam ahead, with deep gratitude for all our teams have done to get us ready for launch!


Save the date! How do we do Impossible?

The Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Society, University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services are pleased to invite all Connect Care stakeholders to the next Leadership Lecture Series presentation. Cameron Chell will explore "How we do Impossible?" in collaboration with medical leaders and special guests David and Teri Price.

This promises to be an exiting and engaging session; well timed and highly relevant for our first Connect Care launch.

Attend in person at the Bernard Snell Hall Theatre between 0700-0900 on Friday October 4, 2019 or via videoconference locations listed at:


Reinforcing Connect Care Training through Practice

There are already more physicians through basic Connect Care training than ever were trained  for eCLINICIAN use! And the pace of training continues to accelerate. Yet launch is still 2 months from now. That is a long time for busy clinicians to retain new information.

Personalization training will provide opportunity for reinforcement between 2 and 4 weeks pre-launch. It is vitally important, not only for learning new things like mobile Connect Care access, but also for tweaking the system to better suit personal preferences. Still, prescribers need ongoing system access for practice and consolidation of basic training.

We are gratified that so many physicians are asking for ongoing access to some form of Connect Care, anywhere they may have opportunity for practice and exploration. Everyone should have access to a "play" (PLY) environment where one can practice interacting with the clinical information system. Of course there is no real patient data . And one must be change-tolerant as clinical content continues to grow.

Simple internet shortcuts are provided to ease access. We can change the links behind these shortcuts as the full Connect Care production environments emerge. To access Connect Care, note whether your computer is on the Intranet (AHSRestrict network) or Extranet (all other networks).


The MacKinnon Report and Connect Care

The Government of Alberta today released its "Blue Ribbon Panel" review of the province's financial perils and prospects. The panel, chaired by former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon, flagged the healthcare system for high expenditures not matched by high performance.

Many of the panel recommendations hinge on inter-provincial comparisons of per-capital spending, using aggregate measures. Of necessity, this is more about where we've been than where we are going. And there is little assessment of the health processes or outcomes that Albertans may value most for their loved ones.

In any case, the panel deliberations already fuel political debate about how the health care system should achieve more with less. Operational recommendations for Alberta Health Services will surface in a separate review expected later this year.

Notably absent is discussion about the role of health information transformation in creating the conditions for iterative, evidence-informed, improvement attuned to Alberta's circumstances, values and aspirations. This is good. There is nothing in the report to discourage us from striving to fulfill our vision for Connect Care. Our transformation agenda is a necessary condition for continuing improvement... including Alberta's competitive positioning among provinces.

A very important report, which physicians should be aware of:


Wave 1 Incomplete Charting - a Chore worth Completing

September 1st conjures vacation's end and school's start (of toil). More PTSD this September as we escalate preparation for Connect Care launch on November 3, 2019!

An important readiness chore is to make sure -- now -- that all legacy pre-Connect Care clinical documentation is complete. Now, because transfer from systems like eCLINICIAN and Netcare is happening now.  Data conversion, chart abstraction and documentation cutover must be completed pre-launch.

What's to do? Start with ensuring that all Wave 1 site (University of Alberta Hospital, Mazinkowski Alberta Heart Institute, Stollery Children's Hospital, Kaye Edmonton Clinic, eCLINICIAN clinics) consult and discharge summary dictations are complete and signed.

It is to physician advantage to complete outstanding deficiencies (inpatients and day surgery) prior to November 3, 2019, eliminating the need to work in two systems.

Wave 1 physicians can contact Health Records (780-407-7638) to obtain a list of incomplete charts and have these pulled for dictation, correction and/or signing.


Readiness Activities in Full Swing

Summer's over! With the start of September, the shift from design-build-validation to training-readiness-implementation is daunting... but also exhilarating!

We have already trained more Edmonton Wave 1 physicians that ever were trained to use the former eCLINICIAN system. Multiples parallel streams of classes run all-day, all-week. At the same time, there is a flurry of iterative tweaking as clinicians view and validate the decision, documentation and inquiry supports they helped design. And practitioners of all types dig deeper into readiness activities. There are many this month:

  • 60 day Launch Readiness assessment
    taking stock of all that has to happen to be ready for launch; this time with the clinical information system users taking the lead.
  • Shadow Charting
    where complex, high-impact and high-volume documentation workflows are tried alongside real patient encounters in order to smooth any rough workflows before launch.
  • Patient Movement Day
    when transitions and handoffs are tested to ensure that modules and clinical domains can work together across a complex patient journey.
  • First personalization labs
    when clinicians learn how to shape the CIS to better suit their needs and style.
We'll keep posting!


What is a CIS "Environment"?

It is exciting to get ever more exposure to what the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) will look like at launch. Along the way, we are called upon to work in a variety of CIS "environments". Each has a specific purpose, and properties suited to that purpose.

Our eHealth Glossary has been updated to include definitions of all the CIS environments that may be encountered by clinical informaticians. Each acronym (e.g., PRD, SBX, PLY, etc.) is defined together with information about the groups who have access, and under what conditions. The following link pulls environment definitions from the glossary:


How will current eHealth initiatives enhance continuity of care?

[repost from AMA MD Scope]

Continuity of care is about a patient and provider health care experience that is coherent, connected, coordinated and consistent with patient goals.

Connect Care, community EMRs, Netcare, and the Community Information Integration (CII) and Central Patient Attachment Registry (CPAR) will build connectivity to defragment the health information space and increase access to it; bringing continuity to Albertans' experience of health care.


How can Connect Care connect with you?

In November 2019, Connect Care will begin launching at Wave 1 sites and programs, with the rest of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and its partners launching by the end of 2022.

Connect Care is becoming very real, very quickly, for all those clinicians not yet directly involved. This is a large and busy group. We want to make sure that all stakeholders are able to get the information they need via the channels that work best. Can you help us make sure you are getting the information you want, when and how you want it?

AHS Community Engagement and Communications wants to better understand the best ways to keep clinicians involved and informed about Connect Care. A short online survey (<2 min) remains open until 11:59 p.m. Sept. 3, 2019.

And, as always, please feel free to share feedback directly or through your physician informatics leads.


Wave 1 Patient Movement Day - September 18, 2019

Patient Movement Day (PMD) offers a unique opportunity for clinicians to take a practical look at what in-patient journeys will look like in Connect Care.

All physicians, prescribers, nurses, allied health and other staff are encouraged to attend. They can see and learn about how complex patient movements are coordinated with clinical information system (CIS) tools and workflows. Morning demonstrations illustrate how Connect Care will facilitate the sequence of events that must occur for patients to flow safely and efficiently from emergency to ward, critical care, surgery, diagnostic imaging and other investigation and intervention venues. In the afternoon, drop-in practice centers (including a physician practice center) allow participants to dig deeper, view more specific workflows, ask questions and practice different patient movement scenarios.

Wave 1 Patient Movement Day occurs Wednesday September 18, 2019 from 08:30 to 16:00, with scenario explorations and demonstrations in the morning and practice activities in the afternoon. A more detailed agenda will follow, allowing physicians to focus on the transitions most relevant to their practice.


Training Milestone - First MD Cohort Completes Basic Training

We are delighted to see the first group of Wave-1 physicians complete their basic training!

12 paediatricians worked with a physician trainer and 2 physician super users to progress through a curriculum customized to their typical workday, work setting and clinical tasks. The training environment worked well and everyone was able to progress through the planned tasks. All participants were appropriately allocated the right Connect Care applications. And it was clear that physicians training physicians is appreciated.

Of course, we noted ways in which the experience could be improved. The trainers' learnings are summarized, shared and used to tweak the next set of training sessions.

In particular, we are very aware of some challenges with the MyLearningLink learning management system. The recommended self-directed modules are not filtering correctly, with the result that physicians see all possible modules when checking "Required Courses", not the ones that pertain to their track. We are putting together supplementary QuickStart guides to help the next wave of trainees to pick out what matters most.

Huge thanks to our first participants, and to the Connect Care training team. We're finding our stride!


Connect Care Clinical Inquiry Newsletter

We've previously posted about how Connect Care in-system inquiry tools can help AHS grow as a learning healthcare organization.

The Connect Care Clinical Inquiry Newsletter offers an excellent way for those interested to keep updated about developing capabilities, supports and processes related to clinical inquiry. There are many applications, including personal practice reviews, quality assurance, quality improvement, clinical research and process optimization.

The Newsletter releases monthly. For those interested in the same content via shorter but more frequent communications, subscribe the Clinical Inquiry Blog

With our current emphasis on training, change management and readiness, the Newsletter is full of great information about courses, webinars and emerging key contacts.


Physician Resources Listing Updated

Befitting the size and complexity of Connect Care, the volume and variety of communications grows exponentially as launch grows closer. Not all are of direct relevance to prescribers.

This (bytes.connect-care.ca) and other Connect Care communication channels for physicians can help. We highlight new and important topics, briefly, daily. Those who want to know more can link-out to single-page summaries ("Byte") and, from there, more detailed resources.

Not all physicians have the same Connect Care needs. Focused communication channels can help. Accordingly, we have started messaging for different listening styles and contexts. One new channel focuses on the needs of physicians who will not be using Connect Care as their record of care. Another focuses on physicians pursuing informatics opportunities.

A user-to-user peer support forum is part of our launch plans. We've set this up and are figuring out how to make it work well for those who value that kind of interaction. And we continue to work on a new physician manual to make key user-oriented documents readily available on mobile platforms. The physician handbook will focus on the more detailed information needs of super users, trainers, power users, builders and designers.

We will continue to summarize current and emerging links at resources.connect-care.ca (recently updated).


Connect Care for outside Connect Care

The Connect Care "Non-AHS Community Physician Advisory Group" gathers together stakeholders interested in Connect Care but not anticipating using Connect Care as their record of care. NACPAG has been active for a number of months and has already facilitated impactful analyses, consultations and recommendations. Above all, they have worked to improve communications about how Connect Care links with diverse provincial health informatics initiatives.

NACPAG supports its own blogging channel (bridges.connect-care.ca), where a newsletter series has been initiated. We encourage interested physicians to subscribe by following the instructions linked on the blog home page.