2022-06-28

Experience MyAHS Connect to Promote MyAHS Connect

We've previously posted about increasing uptake of Connect Care's patient portal, MyAHS Connect. With a critical mass of engaged patients, Connect Care prescribers have growing opportunity to improve information gathering and sharing with patients, including during inpatient encounters

But it can be hard to promote a service that one has little experience of!

A new initiative enables Connect Care prescribers to activate their own MyAHS Connect accounts. They can experience firsthand the benefits of a full-feature patient portal. Personal access can also help clinicians help patients who ask questions about patient portal functions.

This opportunity is offered to prescribers activated for Connect Care use as part of past and current launches. Some clinicians may already have MyAHS Connect access by virtue of their own experiences as patients. Others can complete a self sign-up request. 

Application instructions are provided on the AHS intranet. Note that the links will only work when logged on to an intranet (within AHS) location. It is also possible to open the Clinician Manual from within Connect Care (F1 key for pop-up help, then Clinician Manual link at top of middle column), go to the Patient Portal page, then follow the sign-up link from there:

2022-06-27

CMIO Optimization Support for Connect Care Users

With over 7,700 professionals having completed Chief Medical Information Office (CMIO) training for Connect Care, the CMIO has developed a four-tier optimization training strategy to foster continuous learning for those in previous launches (Waves 1-3 and Launch 4). 

All Connect Care users who fall under the scope of CMIO training will be able to access optimization support via their local leadership. Users can combine facets of optimization from any tier, in any order, to best address their unique needs. 

In Tiers 1 and 3, users can drive their own learning through the available resources and modules; in Tiers 2 and 4, Medical Informatics Leads, Super Users, and Zone Clinical Department Heads will help champion this learning for their colleagues and staff.

For more information, see the Optimization Training page in the Connect Care Manual.

Care Path Launch – Heart Failure and COPD

The Heart Failure and Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AECOPD) Care Paths will launch in Connect Care on July 11, 2022. 

Who is the Care Path for?

Any patient admitted to hospital with a principal diagnosis of Heart Failure or COPD. While a patient can be placed on a Care Path at any point during the hospital stay, it is recommended to begin the Care Path on admission.

What is a Care Path and why use it?

    A Care Path is an advanced clinical decision support tool in Connect Care which summarizes relevant patient information, incorporates evidence, and builds multidisciplinary care into a single workflow path based on the patient’s primary diagnosis. Advantages include:
    • Automatically integrates evidence into care – Care Paths help providers to see summaries of diagnosis-specific care evidence in context of a patient’s relevant health information, enabling personalization of care decisions to optimize quality and safety of care.
    • Improves efficiency by summarizing relevant information – The Care Path Summary page consolidates patient information specific to the primary diagnosis into one view with quick links to relevant assessments, labs, vitals, medications, rapid rounds, expected date of discharge (EDD), and problem-oriented charting.
    • Provides specific guidance for phases of care – Care Paths includes imbedded Order Sets for hospital admission, as well as workflows to support managing day-to-day hospital care. Care paths also help to guide coordinated transitions between acute, primary and community-based care.
    Is there evidence to support Care Path use?
      Yes! The use of standard order sets and clinical pathways have been associated with improved patient outcomes including decreased length of stay, reduced hospital readmission rates, improved adherence to evidence, reduced healthcare costs, and even substantially reduced patient mortality. 

      What do you need to do?

      Care Paths are launching on July 11, 2022. Prior to that date, please watch the training video(s) below in My Learning Link (MLL). Benefits: learn how to use Care Paths efficiently to save time, and earn CME credits!

      • Unaccredited summary course: EPIC - Care Paths - Prescribers (20 min)
        • Note: This course is also inserted into the accredited modules listed below. 

      or 

      • Accredited course (Care Path-specific):
        • Heart Failure Disease Care Path Integration: Evidenced-Based Guideline Recommended Best Care 
          • RCPSC MOC 3 – SAP 1.5 hrs 
          • CFPC Mainpro+ 3-credits-per-hour for 1.5 hrs (4.5 credits)
        • Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Care Path Integration - Evidenced-Based Guideline Recommended Best Care 
          • RCPSC MOC 3 – SAP 1.0 hr 
          • CFPC Mainpro+ 3-credits-per-hour for 1.0 hr (3.0 credits) 

      For more information, see the updated Care Paths section of the Manual.

      2022-06-26

      MUSE and ECG Web Outage (Calgary and North Zones) - Tuesday June 28, 2022

      The Marquette Universal System for Electrocardiology (MUSE) receives patient tests from ECG carts, monitors, the Holter system, and the Exercise Stress system, and ECG Web is used to view and print data from MUSE. There will be a scheduled outage for MUSE and ECG Web on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, affecting Calgary and North Zone Connect Care users only. The outage for Calgary Zone will be between 08:00 and 09:00, and for North Zone between 20:00 and 21:00. 

      • During the downtime, Cardiology (CAR) Orders (i.e., ECG, Holter) will not flow from Connect Care to MUSE but will be queued and transmitted to MUSE once the downtime is completed.
      • Netcare can be used to view historical ECGs during the outage.
      • Connect Care will be available during this outage.

      If you require further information or assistance in preparing for the outage, please contact the IT Service Desk and Solution Centre (1-877-311-4300).

      2022-06-24

      On Other Channels...

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

      Connect Care Launch 5 Countdown

      Our countdown time has reappeared again (see top of left column, just above the Search box)! 

      The Connect Care Launch 5 date is set for the early hours of Sunday, November 6, 2022. This wave will bring many sites into the Connect Care fold, including the following:

      • Calgary Zone: Foothills Medical Centre (including associated clinics at Richmond Road Diagnostic & Treatment Centre) 
      • Central Zone: Acute and combined acute and long-term care sites; encompassing the former David Thompson Health Region, including the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury and Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service; AMH ambulatory services in the former David Thompson Health Region; Continuing Care (intake/transition)
      • North Zone: AMH ambulatory sites encompassing the former Peace Country Health Region; Fort Vermillion; High Level; La Crete; Paddle Prairie; Rainbow Lake
      • Provincial programs: Cancer Care Alberta North; Cancer Care Alberta South; Kidney Care South
      • Pharmacy and diagnostic imaging: Sites in Calgary and the former David Thompson Health Region
      • Alberta Precision Laboratories: Sites in the former David Thompson Health Region
      We are within 150 days from Launch 5.

      Having learned how important it is to avoid a last minute rush, our Countdown Checklist (checklist.connect-care.ca) will restart around 100 days prior to Launch 5. This checklist allows prescribers to ensure that requirements are met as they progress from registration through training, proficiency, personalization and launch-readiness. 

      2022-06-21

      CMIO Prescriber Drop-in Support - Update

      Moving into the fourth week of Connect Care at the Launch 4 sites, the In-person Drop-in Centres have now closed. The Virtual Drop-in Centre (virtualhelp.connect-care.ca) remains open until June 26, 2022, with daily support from 08:00 to 21:00.

      If you require support outside these hours, please call the IT Service Desk & Solution Centre at 1-877-311-4300 (#1 for Connect Care) or visit help.connect-care.ca.

      For further information about the Virtual Drop-in Centre schedules, visit launchhelp.connect-care.ca. Also listed there are reminders about getting after-hours CMIO help for prescribers via Super Users and the CMIO leader on call.

      2022-06-16

      Death Certification Still a Paper Process

      While it is great to see so many Connect Care users enjoying digital documentation -- and release from fussy forms -- there are some tasks that can only be completed on paper.

      One of these is death certification.

      The Province of Alberta is working on, but does not yet support, digital death certification. At this time, responsible physicians must complete a formal (paper) death certificate in the event of a patient death. These can be found at Emergency or Nursing Station forms stores. They can also be obtained from the facility admitting department and must be returned to medical records before a body can be released.

      2022-06-14

      Dragon Medical One - Launch 4 Personalization Sessions

      Personalization sessions for Connect Care's in-system dictation software, Dragon Medical One (DMO), are coming up for Connect Care Launch 4 prescribers. Those in previous launches (Waves 1, 2, 3) are also welcome to attend.

      The personalization sessions are scheduled for the following dates/times:

      • Tuesday, June 21, 2022: 16:30-18:00
      • Thursday, June 23, 2022: 16:30-18:00
      • Tuesday, June 28, 2022: 16:30-18:00

      Registration is through MyLearningLink (MLL) (course name: Dragon Medical One (DMO) - Dictation Optimization Sessions), and sessions are via Zoom.

      2022-06-13

      Dictated Textual Radiology Results Issue - Resolved

      On the afternoon of Sunday June 12, 2022, there was an issue preventing flow of newly dictated textual radiology results to Connect Care. During this time, critical results were reported verbally. The flow of results was disrupted for approximately three hours, from 12:47 until 15:48, and was in effect province-wide. The issue is now resolved, and all textual results have been posted to Connect Care. There is no further action required at this time. 

      2022-06-10

      Connect Care Launch 4 - Electronic Documents and Results Delivery to Community Providers

      AHS uses a system called "eDelivery" to electronically deliver patient information to providers and physicians at their private community practices. With Connect Care Launch 4, there have been changes to the information distributed to providers. Providers who work at AHS facilities using Connect Care as well as at private clinics/offices in the community will want to understand these changes. 

      These changes affect the six types of Connect Care summative notes as well as results for lab, diagnostic imaging (DI) and other investigations. A memo summarizes the changes for the delivery of this information from Connect Care to community providers; the key messages are:

      • All providers will receive copies of summative notes in their external electronic medical record (EMR) when they are identified as the Primary Care Provider (PCP) for a patient; sometimes you may receive information for a patient not associated with you or your clinic – you can follow up with AHS to remediate this situation. 
      • Authoring providers in Connect Care will receive copies of summative notes they author at AHS facilities in their external EMR. 
      • Mixed-context providers (working in AHS facilities as well as at private clinics/offices in the community) may receive some community DI reports twice (in their Connect Care In Basket as well as at their non-AHS locations).
        • Additional information specific to DI report delivery for mixed-context providers is available in an earlier memo.
      • All summative notes and results are available in Netcare.

      For more information, please review the full memo:

      On Other Channels...

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

      2022-06-08

      All User Bulletin - Ultrasound Reports for Referring Providers

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

      Ultrasound Reports for Referring Providers via Astraia

      Astraia, a third-party specialized perinatal documentation system that is used in conjunction with Connect Care to provide comprehensive Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) assessment and consultation, provides highly specialized, in-depth MFM ultrasound reporting. Astraia generates detailed ultrasound reports for referring healthcare providers; these reports are available in Connect Care in text-only and full PDF versions:

      • Text-only: The text portion of the ultrasound report contains the consulting MFM physician’s summary and recommendations but does NOT contain the specific ultrasound measurements, anatomical assessments and graphs. The text-only portion is displayed in Connect Care, and is also faxed to the referring healthcare provider. 
      • Full report: The complete report that includes specific ultrasound measurements, anatomical assessments and graphs is available as a PDF. Referring providers can find the PDF in the Chart Review activity:
        • Click the "Imaging" section. Select the target ultrasound, scroll down below the text to the section entitled "Order-Level Documents", and click on the hyperlink. 
        • Tip: To move the "Order-Level Documents" section to the top of your viewing screen, use the wrench tools on the top-right corner of the report window and drag this section to the top of the list.
                                     
        • Note: The complete report PDF can also be found in Netcare (click the diagnostic imaging section and find the target ultrasound report by date).

      As of June 7, 2022, all text-only reports issued by Connect Care will contain the following statement to direct healthcare providers to the full PDF report:

      This is the text portion (Consultation) of the Maternal Fetal Medicine ultrasound report. At the present time, Connect Care, Millennium, SCM and Impax are unable to accept the graphics portion of the report. For the entire report including graphs, please view this ultrasound report through the Alberta Netcare Portal (for access go to http://www.albertanetcare.ca/) or view through Connect Care by clicking on the Order-Level Documents PDF link found in the section below the imaging text result.”  

      Prescriber Ordering Norms - Are Verbal Orders Allowed?

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

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

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

      Very few exceptions to CPOE are acceptable, as summarized in Connect Care Ordering Norms.

      If there are interdisciplinary teams that are having concerns, questions or challenges regarding CPOE, it is recommended that each team work through the CPOE work package. A memo also contains relevant information for Nurse Clinicians/leaders.

      2022-06-01

      Tickets, Tickets, Tickets!

      Connect Care Launch 4 has gone well, credit to the clinicians, leaders, trainers, Super Users and many others who have worked so hard to prepare.

      Launch success is less about absence of problems and more about rapid attention to problems. In this, Launch 4 is doing extraordinarily well. Most issues are resolved quickly. Many stimulate improvements that benefit entire Connect Care community.

      What's left are a few tricky problems. These are context-dependent. When a specific print fails, for example, the fault can be device-specific or, sometimes, an intersect of device, department, function and location.

      Cleaning up tricky problems is a group effort. Our technical specialists need users to:

      • Not ignore problems, even those that seem minor. Report by one means or another (if too busy to submit a helpdesk ticket, jot down the particulars in a secure message or In Basket note to a Super User).
        • Reported problems get "ticketed", which means that they are tracked and resolved as fast as possible. 
      • When reporting printer problems, always include any relevant order number.
      For more information:

      2022-05-31

      Improving Issue Reports and Help Desk Interactions

      Problem reports (help.connect-care.ca "tickets") have been well within expectations so far with Connect Care Launch 4. Of course, more tickets are expected as clinical volumes ramp up with more outpatient activity. The good news is that tickets are resolved quickly, with critical tickets resolved within minutes to hours.

      Helpdesk tickets route most efficiently when the user provides clear information at the right level of detail. See our tips for impactful issue reports:

      Launch 4 Progress - A Great Start!

      Connect Care Launch 4 continues to progress well after a remarkably smooth weekend. Most early problems are resolved and a few ongoing issues are explored by teams working to fine tune some of the more complex workflows.

      Twice-daily prescriber huddles continue to triage any prescriber issues identified to Super Users, Medical Informatics Leads or the ticketing process. Rapid-response clinical system design and other task groups receive and work on issues during the day. Highlights of what is being worked on appear in a daily prescriber Support Hot Topics

      Learning curves remain steep in the first week. New users are encouraged to continue to consult with Super Users, check the Connect Care Manual (manual.connect-care.ca), and identify where new supports or clarifications could help (cmio-manual@ahs.ca). In addition, blog postings focus on the more common questions and challenges that we hear about:

      Renewed thanks to all Launch 4 teams for their incredible work and resourcefulness through the launch period!

      2022-05-30

      Connect Care Communication Norms

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

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

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

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

      Just-in-Time Learning!

      Our new Connect Care Launch 4 prescribers are on the steeper part of their learning curve. Help is available!

      A powerful way to reinforce basic training, while busy with clinical work, is to consider one or two high-impact tips per day. To that end, we regularly post "Tippies" on the Connect Care Tips channel (tips.connect-care.ca), which contain some simple but impactful suggestions as well as some more advanced tips. 

      The easiest way to follow these postings is to subscribe to the Tips blog channel. Also consider subscribing to both the FAQ (questions.connect-care.ca) and the Support (support.connect-care.ca) channels. We answer common questions on the former and provide important news about fixes and enhancements on the latter. 

      2022-05-28

      Launch 4: We are GO!

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

      Today, Connect Care welcomes 57 Edmonton and Calgary sites into the family. The first few days will be intense, but with lots of help at hand we are confident that progress will be fast. 

      Prescribers, please make use of the drop-in centre and other launch supports (launchhelp.connect-care.ca).

      A message to Connect Care Launch 4 teams from Interim President and CEO Mauro Chies:


      The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) published a letter from the President advocating for physician and patient interests during the Launch 4 Connect Care rollout:


      2022-05-26

      Connect Care Submit Help Ticket Button

      We previously posted about a new path to Connect Care Help Desk Ticket submissions, directly from within Connect Care. A "Connect Care - Submit Help Ticket" button has now been added to the top of the screen, making the link easy to access. The link can also still be found via the main menu (Help subsection), chart search, and the universal learning home dashboard (F1 key).

      This button should be used to report non-urgent problems or suggestions about Connect Care. Once the button is clicked on, a form will pop-up for the user to fill in details while still in Connect Care. The ticket created from this form will then automatically be routed to the relevant support team.

      2022-05-24

      Removal of Outdated eCLINICIAN Medication-checks from Connect Care

      Most clinicians have noticed "Medications from outside sources..." alerts in Connect Care charts:


      These prod the user to open the "Reconcile Outside Information" activity and either import or delete information from an external health information system. Judging by the large numbers of unmanaged alerts, it appears that most users do not find them helpful. 

      A review of the reconcile outside medication prompts reveals that they relate to imports from the eCLINICIAN outpatient health record, which was replaced by Connect Care in 2019. Years have passed, the information is old and the prompts have little remaining value. 

      As part of ongoing efforts to minimize unnecessary alerts, all unreconciled eCLINICIAN medication triggers older than 2 years will be archived; thus removing distracting prompts. 

      Other potentially high-value information continues to flow from active external systems (e.g., allergies and adverse reactions). These may prompt clinicians to consider incorporating any new information into Connect Care charts.

      2022-05-17

      MyAHS Connect - Empowering More Albertans for Health Care

      We've reached another exciting milestone for better connecting patients with their health care: more than 100,000 Albertans now have access to their Connect Care health record through MyAHS Connect! 


      A big thank you to prescribers at Connect Care sites who have encouraged their patients to “get connected!”

      MyAHS Connect gives patients the opportunity to be a more active member of their healthcare team using their smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s a win-win for patients and care teams.

      For more information about MyAHS Connect, see:

      2022-04-21

      Toronto University Health Network Joins the Club

      The University Health Network in Toronto is about to go live with its "Synapse" implementation of Epic Systems' digital health record. This brings a number of additional hospitals, including the Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and others, into the Canadian Epic community. More opportunity to share and learn!