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Countdown Checklist L6, T-minus 93: Consider Training Options

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 6 prescribers readying for launch May 6, 2023...
  • Consider Connect Care Launch 6 Training Options
Virtual as well as in-person classes are available, with appropriate COVID-19 awareness and precautions. In-person classes have all the necessary measures in place to offer safe training. Contingency plans are in place in the event of facility-level outbreaks. If required, all in-person training can be converted to virtual training. 

Registration for Launch 6 Connect Care training remains open through MyLearningLink (mylearninglink.ahs.ca). Besides completing the training, please remember that completion of the privacy training, On Our Best Behaviours (OOBB), is also mandatory for access to Connect Care. Registration information for medical staff is provided by Zone Medical Affairs, and for nurse practitioners by Provincial NP Services.


Countdown Checklist L6, T-minus 95: Get Training

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 6 prescribers readying for launch May 6, 2023...
  • Get Basic Training! 
  • Reach out to colleagues who may not be registered
Prescribers 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 important. Colleagues will be inconvenienced if forced to cover for a prescriber who does not have CIS access.

First-time users of the CIS must complete an instructor-led basic training session. Launch 6 instructor-led basic training begins February 6, and registrations are filling fast.

If practicing at a Launch 6 site and still lacking information about how to register or complete basic training, contact:


Countdown Checklist L6, T-minus 98: Are you in?

Continuing a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 6 prescribers readying for launch May 6, 2023...
  • Are you in Connect Care Launch 6? 
An obvious first checklist task is to determine whether Launch 6 tasks even apply!

For most physicians, that determination is made by Medical Affairs. Lists of clinic physicians, those with hospital privileges, visiting specialists and on-call contributors are used to generate invitations to Launch 6 physicians. Despite this, it is possible that some physicians with new site responsibilities -- and some physicians who have already trained in earlier waves -- might be missed. Physicians should check the clinics and hospitals slated for Launch 6 and be sure that they have been invited to participate if they expect to work at those sites:
For nurse practitioners (NPs), Provincial NP Services makes the determination based on HR lists. However, it is recognized that many NPs cover cross-site/-zone programs or have multiple "casual" positions; Provincial NP Services contacts all NPs and their managers directly to confirm. NPs expecting to work at a Launch 6 site who have not been contacted should email Provincial NP Services.

Other online resources can be checked for the latest information:


Connect Care Launch 6, T-minus 100: Countdown Checklist

Starting a list of essential actions for Connect Care Launch 6 prescribers readying for launch May 6, 2023...
  • Bookmark Connect Care Countdown Checklist 
A countdown checklist can help prescribers 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.


ALERT! January 23, 2023 18:00 Systems Restored - Recovery Processes

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

Network Outage: Recovery from Downtime Procedures

Update (17:00): All AHS clinical information systems, including Connect Care, will be accessible as of 18:00 (January 23, 2023) and can be used for patient care.

Please follow standard Downtime and Recovery Procedures and be attentive to data update needs as downtime information is captured. Prescribers should be sure to check the following:

  • Downtime documents (scanned to media manager by designated staff), and medication administration documentation (again by designated staff).
  • Problem list updates for new, changed or resolved items.
  • Entering or updating admission diagnoses (principal problem) and discharge or visit diagnoses for transitions occurring during downtime.
  • Reviewing best possible medication histories and associated medication reconciliation for admissions or discharges occurring during downtime.
  • Check downtime orders captured and entered by nursing and pharmacy team members and enter key missing orders (e.g., goals of care designation, mental health status orders).
  • Attend to In Basket messages with links to missing chart elements and use ".DOWNTIME" SmartPhrase (non-Emergency prescribers) or ".DTNOTE" (for emergency prescribers) to complete the chart element and indicate that content is available elsewhere in the chart.


UPDATE (14:00): The technical issue causing the provincial network outage has been resolved and teams are working quickly to restore all clinical systems.

This work will take a few hours. Services are carefully being restored with priority being given to critical patient care areas, such as emergency departments. Please continue to use downtime procedures for now.

Further updates will be provided with instructions on when and how to log back into clinical systems and update information as needed.

We are reviewing the cause of the technical issue to learn how we can prevent this from happening in the future.

Thank you again for your support and understanding.  


UPDATE (12:30): The network problem has been solved and clinical systems will return to full functionality shortly. However, users are not able to log on to Connect Care until a careful and orderly process for restarting all the systems that Connect Care depends upon. Until then, the "SRO" read-only version of Connect Care is available now (same Connect Care logon credentials) and can provide patient information up till 07:30.


Attention all Connect Care users! 

AHS is experiencing a provincial network outage, which is impacting many IT and clinical systems, including Connect Care. 

All impacted systems should move to downtime procedures. The IT Solution Centre and Service Desk cannot be reached at this time.  IT teams are working to identify a resolution as quickly as possible.

Due to the provincial scale of the network outage, some services are immediately affected:

  • As a precaution, elective surgeries are being postponed at some sites and all impacted patients will be contacted directly. Procedures are being rescheduled as soon as possible. Emergency and urgent surgeries are continuing across the province.
  • Community lab services are impacted and will be reduced at some sites. 
  • Please do not call the labs for results as they have no further information at this point: critical results for inpatients, AHS outpatients and community lab patients are being communicated by telephone and fax.
  • EMS dispatch is functioning with back-up procedures and calls to 911 are not affected. In an emergency, 911 should continue to be used.
  • Health Link (811) continues to be available, with some limits to capacity. Wait times will be longer than usual.
  • MyHealth Alberta and MyAHS Connect are not currently available.
  • Netcare is affected in many locations. 

For Connect Care users, please refer to : Connect Care Manual - Downtime Support (connect-care.ca)

If inpatient prescribers need information about AHS inpatients, go to the nursing station where the majority of your patients are located and ask for assistance from a team member able to log into the back up computers (BCA) to see patient information (current as of start of downtime 07:30).

AHS continues intensive work to restore full network services as soon as possible.


All User Bulletin - eDelivery of Shared Outpatient Letters

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

eDelivery of Shared Outpatient Letters

The majority of community electronic medical records (EMRs) are now enabled for eDelivery of shared outpatient letters. If you would like a letter sent to a recipient's primary eDelivery location, a “Shared Externally” letter template must be used.

What has changed: Recipient(s) of any letter written using a “Shared Externally” template will receive a copy to their EMR via eDelivery, provided they are registered for that service. Please note:

  • Providers with multiple EMRs will only receive the letter by eDelivery to their primary EMR.
  • If a patient’s primary care provider (PCP) identified at the time of registration is on eDelivery, they will also receive a copy of the letter to their primary EMR, whether they are designated as a recipient or not.
  • In addition to eDelivery, recipients registered as Connect Care users will also receive a copy of the letter via their Connect Care communications preference (In Basket, mail or fax).

For further information, see the memo, tip sheet, and other linked resources:


Ordering Therapy Plans - Launch 6 Prescriber-Led Support Sessions

Prescribers who order recurrent, ongoing therapies (IVIG, blood, antimicrobials, procedures, etc.) known as Therapy Plans (pre-defined collection of related/standing orders that apply to multiple/recurrent encounters over time) are invited to attend a prescriber-led demonstration of the workflow. The sessions demonstrate the process of ordering Therapy Plans, and will prepare you for entering orders post-launch and when asked to review converted legacy orders prior to launch.  

The following sessions are scheduled prior to Launch 6. Although important for Launch 6 prescribers who have current patients with scheduled therapies, it is recommended for any prescriber who anticipates using these ordering tools. All Connect Care prescribers and clinicians who order or action Therapy Plans are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Clicking on the hyperlinked date for a session will open a calendar invite for that session, which you can then respond to and receive the meeting information.

For more information, please see the below resources:


Connect Care Launch 6 Countdown

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

The Connect Care Launch 6 date is set for the early hours of Saturday, May 6, 2023. This wave will bring many sites into the Connect Care fold, including the following:

  • Calgary Zone: Rockyview General Hospital; South Health Campus Hospital; AMH Ambulatory sites
  • Edmonton Zone: Alberta Hospital Edmonton; Grey Nuns Hospital; Misericordia Community Hospital; Villa Caritas
  • Central Zone: Acute and combined acute and long-term care sites encompassing the former East Central Health Region, including AMH Ambulatory sites
  • Pharmacy and diagnostic imaging: Sites in Edmonton; Calgary including Outpatient MRI At South Calgary Health Centre; former East Central Health Region
  • Alberta Precision Laboratories: Sites in former East Central Health Region; Provincial Lab; all Calgary Zone
We are within 125 days from Launch 6.

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 6. This checklist allows prescribers to ensure that requirements are met as they progress from registration through training, proficiency, personalization and launch-readiness. A convenient option is to subscribe to this blog so each Countdown Checklist post is sent directly to your preferred email.


Connect Care Benefits - Prescriber Perspective

Prescribers were polled about how Connect Care affects the care they provide. The following slideshow summarizes key points...


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CMIO Optimization Support for Connect Care Users

With 8,779 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 Launches 4-5). 

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.


Results Management for Emergency Departments

A number of prescribers spend at least some time contributing to emergency department (ED) services, where department-specific test result routing considerations may apply. These are summarized in a section of the Connect Care Manual, with links to practical details in process and tip documents. Key to note is that ED prescribers participating in an ED Results Pool should ensure they are signed into the pool while on shift in the ED so they can monitor the messages and manage the results in the pool.


CMIO Prescriber Drop-in Now Closed

As we approach the end of the fourth week of Connect Care at the Launch 5 sites, the CMIO Virtual Drop-in Centre has now closed, and many Super Users have been pulled back. Though the launch support period may have ended at your site, that is not the end of Connect Care support available for prescribers. 

It is expected that new users will continue to have questions as they encounter situations perhaps not covered in basic training, or when returning to a workflow they need a refresher on, or when there is an opportunity to dive into some of the more advanced tricks and tools available to get the most out of the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) and make your user experience smoother. There are a number of post-launch supports in place for these reasons. 

  • If you are experiencing a problem that has possible immediate patient care impact, call the IT Service Desk & Solution Centre at 1-877-311-4300 (#1 for Connect Care). The Service Desk is able to provide high-level workflow and training support; urgent issues will be escalated to an on-call CMIO training team member.
  • For all other issues, take a look at this FAQ to discover the best post-launch resource to use for help.
Don't struggle - ask for help. A solution is likely just a call or click away.

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Dragon Medical One - Launch 5 Personalization Sessions

Personalization sessions for Connect Care's in-system dictation software, Dragon Medical One (DMO), are coming up for Connect Care Launch 5 prescribers. Those in previous launches (Waves/Launches 1-4) are also welcome to attend.

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

  • Tuesday, December 6, 2022: 10:00-11:30
  • Monday, December 12, 2022: 18:00-19:30
  • Thursday, December 15, 2022: 14:00-15:30

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


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Calgary Zone Bulletin - Ambulatory Results Management Update

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

Ambulatory Results Management Update

Starting November 16, 2022, some results from outside of the Calgary Zone will be suppressed from In Basket to reduce duplicate reports related to Calgary Zone patients. This is an interim state and will revert at some future date.

  • A hard copy (paper or fax) of results may be sent. Prescribers must regularly monitor Connect Care In Basket AND hard copy reports, and follow-up on results as needed.
  • All results are available in Netcare and the Connect Care patient chart.
  • To improve the reliability of result delivery to In Basket and reduce hard copy reports, be sure to use Connect Care requisitions when arranging for patients' laboratory testing.

For more information, see the memo.


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Tickets, Tickets, Tickets!

Connect Care Launch 5 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 5 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:


Just-in-Time Learning!

Our new Connect Care Launch 5 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. 


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 5. 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:

No More Tweets

Although these Connect Care blog postings have been linked to Twitter notifications for a number of years, few of our target viewers use those feeds for following Bytes and related CMIO blogging channels.

The time seems right to leave the Twitter platform. Accordingly, all repostings are stopped and the associated Twitter accounts have been deleted.

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.


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.


Launch 5: We are GO!

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

Today, Connect Care welcomes 135 sites from across the province into the family, including Cancer Care Alberta and Alberta Kidney Care South. 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 centres and other launch supports (launchhelp.connect-care.ca). Watch this channel for any updates, as well as the Support channel for information on "hot topic" common issues that have been flagged for Launch 5 prescribers.


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