Countdown Checklist L-19

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 19 days from now...
Successful personalization of the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) has a big impact on physician success at launch. It is very important to take advantage of personalization workshops pre-launch. Make sure that you are already registered or take advantage of self-registration via MyLearningLink (supported on a first-come-first-scheduled basis).

Personalization objectives, pre-requisites and preparation are all described in the Connect Care Physician Manual.

Connect Care Information for Patients

The Connect Care communications team has been hard at work putting together resources to help patients and families understand what is happening at launch. A number of exhibits will be rolled out at Wave 1 sites over the coming weeks:
  • FAQ documents circulated through frontline leaders, staff, information desks and Health Link 811.
  • MyAHS Connect brochures explaining how patients and families can sign up for patient portal access.
  • Postcards banners, tent cards, TV monitor displays, and video kiosk displays raising Connect Care awareness.
  • Decals identifying equipment supporting Connect Care.
  • And many other resources.


Countdown Checklist L-20

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 20 days from now...
  • 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 Physician Manual

All physicians are asked to update their security profile now:
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)

Protecting Privacy with NO Privacy

A concerning CBC news report suggests that there is a spike of health care privacy breaches in Alberta:
As the text of the article clarifies, the spike is actually of reports of possible issues that are submitted to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). New legislation mandates reporting all incidents to the OIPC. This, understandably, has increased the number of events that get reported this way (most are already managed). Not all events turn out to be genuine breaches.

This article, like others, can raise public concern about the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). The CIS will have provincial spread. Are we exposing patients to greater privacy or security risks? 

The evidence says "No". Responsibly managed health information systems dramatically decrease privacy risks over the paper-based systems they replace. Access is more difficult. Audit trails record all chart openings, user activity and attempts to alter the record. Data backups are more robust. Data exchanges are monitored. The encryption and communication tools are vastly more secure than the telephone, fax and printed materials replaced. What does increase is visibility... giving the false impression that privacy threats increase. In fact, true breaches decrease.

What are we doing to ensure the very best protections for our Connect Care patients? 

First, we are making sure that we leverage everything technology can do for us. Connect Care manages security right down to individual chart elements, with more protections, more validations and more accountability than any prior system. 

Second, we are being realistic about technology. The greatest threat to privacy is the grey stuff between two ears... neurons, not networks. No existing technology can fully compensate for privacy illiteracy, negligence or willful access misuse. We have implemented a privacy awareness program that is about understanding, behavior and personal accountability. Everyone must complete this. And we continually reinforce.

Third, we protect patient privacy with lack of physician privacy. Everything physicians do is monitored in Connect Care. The fidelity of auditing is far greater than before. Our capacity to rapidly detect potential problems is enhanced with software that continually monitors patterns and behaviors. This is reasonable. As practitioners, we've never been entitled to hide within legal records of care. 

Again, the evidence is clear. Effective education combined with surveillance, feedback and action has the greatest impact on privacy protection.


Countdown Checklist L-21

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 21 days from now...
  • Ensure that you have online REMOTE ACCESS
Just 3 weeks to go!

Remote access refers to any use of the clinical information system (CIS) outside of Alberta Health Services (AHS) networks ("intranet"). Will you need this? Some physicians rarely work out-of-AHS. Some will find  remote access through mobility (Haiku, Canto) good enough for results review, communicating, ordering, billing and simple documentation. But many physicians will need full Hyperspace externally. A security FOB is required, as explained in the Connect Care Physician Manual. Existing Netcare FOBs are automatically set up for Connect Care and require no new action. For physicians needing remote Hyperspace, but do not currently have a FOB, apply now (note - must do this from within AHS):
Physicians in Wave 1 are authorized for remote access by Zone Medical Affairs, who should be contacted for support (MedicalAffairs.EdmontonZone-PhysicianResources@ahs.ca).

Visits with Connect Care Teams

This week marks a major milestone for Connect Care: the launch of Wave 1 is less than a month away. Our CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu, visits with teams, taking the pulse of Connect Care.

Other Alberta Health Services leaders express how grateful they are for the work front line teams are doing to prepare for launch, and beyond.


Countdown Checklist L-22

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 22 days from now...
  • Ensure that you have online ACCESS
This one's easy. It's Friday!

Make sure that you have a working Alberta Health Services "Healthy" network userid and password. These credentials are used to log on to AHS computers, email, Connect Care and many other systems. Your profile needs to be turned on for Connect Care access. Make sure that your user name and password work at:
If you try logging on from outside an AHS facility, you will need to additionally have a security FOB. More about that tomorrow. Checkout the Access section in the Connect Care Physician Manual. Contact AHS IT Service Desk (877-311-4300) if your username and password do not work with myapps.ahs.ca.

Connect Care Weekly Review - October 11, 2019

What a week its been! Lots of action and lots of new information in our various blogging channels. Some highlights:
  • Countdown checklist: daily postings to this blog offer specific steps that can be taken, one at a time, to ensure physician readiness for launch on November 3, 2019. Try to check off the tasks!
  • Physician manual: a Connect Care physician manual summarizes essential information and tips in one simple format that adapts to desktop and mobile devices. This already has a lot of practical information for beginners.
  • Workflow dress rehearsals: started this week, with lots of physician involvement, meaningful system exposure in typical clinical environments, a good test of emerging user supports, and many valuable insights and tweaks now in the works.
  • Over 2,800 physicians have presented for basic training and over 600 are already through personalization training. Personalization training workshops have proved exciting and empowering for participants... already leading to excellent launch preparations.
  • Specialty clinical system design is complete, with all build validated, and >230 ordersets are validated and moving into production, with another 70 to go.
  • Physician users have started to share peer-to-peer tips, supports and answers to questions.
  • A 'First Looks' series of demonstrations shares the look and feel of recent functions to emerge in our Connect Care build.
  • Connect Care Mobility installs are progressing, backed by a new physician mobility compact.
  • Other readiness events: the 30-Day Launch Readiness Assessment, held on October 2, and the Clinical Operations Readiness Day, held on October 3, drew 385 and 505 attendees, respectively. Three quarters believe they are ready for launch. 


Countdown Checklist L-23

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 23 days from now...
  • Complete InfoCare Privacy Awareness Training
This one applies to everyone. No escape. Every physician must complete an online self-directed eLearning module entitled "InfoCare - On our Best Behavior". This solidifies understanding about responsible behaviors when working with personal health information. 

All prescribers must complete the module. Completion is demonstrated in a final section where commitment to privacy protection is affirmed with a series of statements. Access to Connect Care is not possible without InfoCare completion. Physician AHS privileges are contingent. 

Log on to MyLearningLink.ahs.ca with your AHS username and password. Search the available courses using "InfoCare". Anticipate spending about 20 minutes.

Get in touch with ConnectCare.PhysicianTraining@ahs.ca if you have difficultly getting credit for course completion. Macintosh users: save time by checking our tip sheet first.

Interfacing Clinical Applications

The earliest Connect Care communications defined a clinical information system (CIS), emphasizing that it is not Epic alone, but a composite of interfaced information systems working together as one. The Epic integration engine is fundamental. However, as we approach our first launch, it is important to remember that the Connect Care CIS also includes:
  • Enterprise Content Services
  • Transfusion Medicine
  • Provincial Speech Recognition
  • Barcode Identity Management
... and more. Not all of these have received full attention in training. We will continue to produce just-in-time guides, tip-sheets and online demos to help users understand how to use these non-Epic applications as part of the Connect Care ecosystem.

A new Insite resource summarizes all the applications that are interfaced as part of the CIS:


Countdown Checklist L-24

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 24 days from now...
  • Clean your eCLINICIAN House
This personal readiness task is relevant to physician users of the eCLINICIAN clinical information system (CIS), but completion will positively affect all Connect Care CIS users.

There are many (tens of thousands) of 'open encounters' accumulated in eCLINICIAN. Many are likely telephone encounters, refills and other minor interactions that simply did not get signed off. However, open outpatient visit encounters could affect the quality of data converted for Connect Care.

Cleaning house is neither hard nor time-consuming. See a short tip about encounter management for clear instructions.

Tell me what to do!

Approaching 3 weeks from launch, there is no shortage of Connect Care awareness... perhaps a surfeit of Connect Care anxiety.

We hear from clinical colleagues that the upcoming change seems overwhelming, even impossible. As Cam Chell reminded us, doing impossible is about just taking the next step!

From now through launch we'll post a short, specific and actionable suggestion about a tangible next step that physicians can take to be ready for a safe launch that we will all be proud to have made possible. You can find the daily checks in this blog, marked with a yellow background, or you can bookmark the series:


Countdown Checklist L-25

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 25 days from now...
  • Understand Physician Workload Adjustments for your Area
It is not a given, or often possible, that clinical services decrease at Connect Care launch. A number of strategies can maximize physician productivity, clinical service resilience and capacity for change.

Be sure to ask your clinical leaders (division, department, section, specialty, clinic, ward, etc.) about plans to adjust physician availability, preparation and support in your area at launch. Discuss and confirm understandings at division/section/unit meetings.

Understand your role in making things better for your team. Usually your best contribution is to take training seriously and fully benefit from personalization training. This dramatically decreases the likelihood that you will burden your colleagues or degrade clinical service.

See our Byte about workload planning for more information.

New FAQ Channel

We are excited to release (yet another) new blogging channel, "FAQ", as linked in the button bar (desktop computers) or channel drop-down menu (mobile devices) above or directly available via faq.connect-care.ca. As with other Connect Care blogs, interested clinicians are welcome to subscribe in order to get new postings via email.

We (cmio@ahs.ca) receive lots of questions about the "what" and "how" of Connect Care. These are answered directly, but many answers are of broad interest and are now posted to the FAQ blogging channel. The classification of FAQs will closely match the categories (left column) used in our Tips and Support channels.

There are a few postings already.


Countdown Checklist L-26

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 26 days from now...
A Connect Care Physician Manual is available and responsive to desktop, tablet and smartphone displays. This summarizes essential clinical information system (CIS) information for all physician-users. We promise to keep it brief. Extra details are available via links to tip-sheets and other practical assists. Bookmark "http://manual.connect-care.ca".

The Connect Care Physician Blogs are also worth bookmarking. These include a general interest channel (default) with news and updates that can help physicians understand what is happening with Connect Care. There are also channels for user-to-user tips, support and frequently asked questions. Bookmark "http://blogs.connect-care.ca".

Connect Care Data Conversion Update

Data conversion is about how historical health information is selected and managed for transfer to the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). Some data will be electronically transferred into the new CIS and other information will be manually abstracted prior to launch.

The Data Conversion Team continues to make progress. Validators from across AHS help verify that the data conversion process works as expected. The team is on schedule to complete all data loads and validations prior to November 3, 2019.

New resources are available to help clinicians understand what is or isn’t being converted into the CIS. A Data Conversion Fact Sheet summarizes the scope of many conversion streams, now including the Organ Transplant Tracking Record (OTTR) system. A Data Conversion User Guide  provides detailed information about the ways that users might experience data conversion.

Chapter 4 of the Connect Care Readiness Playbook provides details about different types of manual conversions as part of chart abstraction activities:
  • Appointments Conversions 
  • Outpatient Abstractions
  • Oncology Conversions
  • Medical Therapy Plan Conversions
  • Research Conversions
When data conversion yields potentially useful information, prompts are placed in relevant activities to ease review of that data. A Patient Storyboard flag also indicates whether outside allergy, medication, problem list or immunization data is available for reconciliation. A Reconcile Outside Information activity helps users recognize and manage data that they can selectively import.

After Wave 1 launch, the eCLINICIAN legacy CIS will be downgraded to a read-only state for a period of time. Other legacy CISs will continue to operate, and data will be synchronized regularly  until those systems also retire. This ensures that any externally updated Allergies, Medications, Problem lists, Vitals, Vaccinations and Genetics will be available for consideration.

For more information:


New Tips Channel

We are excited to release a new blogging channel, "Tips", as linked in the button bar (desktop computers) or channel drop-down menu (mobile devices) above or directly available via tips.connect-care.ca. As with other Connect Care blogs, interested clinicians are welcome to subscribe to this channel in order to get email or newsfeed notifications of new postings. The classification of Tips will closely match the groupings (tags) used in the peer-to-peer support forum (above as "Support" and directly at support.connect-care.ca).

Today's posting addresses questions we've been getting about things to think about when choosing a mobile device for use with Connect Care.

Countdown Checklist L-27

Continuing our list of essential actions for Wave 1 physicians facing Connect Care Launch 27 days from now...
  • Get Basic Training! 
  • Reach out to colleagues who may not be registered.
Physicians will not be allowed access to the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) unless they have completed Basic Training. There are no exceptions. Lack of access to the legal record of care means being unable to practice. Privileges are contingent on use of the implemented CIS. 

So, this is extremely important. Physician colleagues will be seriously inconvenienced if forced to cover for a physician who does not have CIS access.

Basic training classes are almost finished. If not finished or scheduled for basic training, contact Medical Affairs or ConnectCare.PhysicianTraining@ahs.ca immediately.


Personalization Workshops make all the Difference!

Once physicians complete basic Connect Care training, the next step is personalization. Physicians are strongly encouraged to take the time to personalize their clinical information system (CIS) as this is where the true benefits of digital transformation are realized. We hear this over and over again. Organizations that invest in personalization pre-launch experience less disruption, greater physician satisfaction and improved peer-to-peer support.

Physicians who participate in personalization workshops leave with:
  • Access to the production version (read-only) of the CIS where they can customize the interface to their liking and set up preference lists, order clusters, and text-generation shortcuts that make things easier at launch.
  • Install and begin to explore CIS mobile applications (Haiku for smartphones, Canto for iPads)
  • Install and start practicing in-system dictation with Dragon Medical One and PowerMic Mobile
  • Test logon access to Production (PRD).
  • Learn how to rapidly access just-in-time help and peer sharing forums.
There are plenty of day and time options and plenty of spots available. Sign up directly in My Learning Link by searching for courses with “personalization” in the title and then selecting the course for the right department or training track.

Available spots will become limited as Wave 1 launch nears. The Connect Care Physician Manual summarizes how to prepare for and get the most from personalization workshops.

Countdown Checklist L-28

This is the first of a daily series about tangible actions that Wave 1 physicians can take to make sure they are ready for Connect Care Launch (28 days from now!)
  • Complete and close legacy charts
Incomplete charts still require your attention – Walter C. Mackenzie physicians. We are grateful for all the efforts to date to complete outstanding charts at Wave 1 facilities. Moving to a new system is hard of our old systems are not tidied up.

All physicians should complete ALL incomplete deficiencies (inpatients and day surgery), not just those that are overdue. This includes dictations and electronic signatures. Completing charts prior to the launch of Connect Care will eliminate the need to work in two systems.

Walter C. Mackenzie physicians can contact Health Records (780-407-7638) at the University of Alberta Hospital to obtain a list of incomplete charts. They are available 24/7 and are ready to provide these lists and pull required paper charts in order to support report completion prior to the launch of Connect Care.