Don't get Caught!

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has been in the (unhappy) informatics news, having experienced a recent 'phishing' attack that targeted administrative staff. Thanks to e-security vigilance, the attempt was detected early and no harm came to the organization.

This is a strong reminder to learn and use basic information self defence, or to push a different metaphor... defensive driving on the health information highway.


Health Informatics Education Lead Opportunity

The office of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) is seeking Health Informatics Education (HIE) Leads to facilitate the development, support and delivery of a training program focused on physicians and advanced care providers. HIE Leads will develop and support the learning team who are pivotal to the Connect Care initiative. HIE Leads will also help direct deployment of clinical information system (CIS) applications, collaborating with AHS Clinical Operations and Information Technology to align training with Connect Care milestones. They join a multi-disciplinary learning team to develop and evaluate of physician-friendly training programs that minimize disruption to clinical operations.

The HIE Leads will be allocated to the five AHS zones (North, South, Central, Edmonton, Calgary), working with Physician Trainers, Senior Trainers, Clinical Operations, and Information Technology to smooth the CIS roll-out throughout Alberta. 

To learn more and to apply, please visit https://careers.albertahealthservices.ca/ and search for each position using the requisition number. All of the positions will close at 23:59 on August 6, 2018.

  • ALB00053115 – Location negotiable within North Zone
  • ALB00053117 – Location negotiable within Calgary Zone 
  • ALB00053119 – Location negotiable within Edmonton Zone
  • ALB00055824– Location negotiable within Edmonton Zone
  • ALB00053121 – Location negotiable within Central Zone
  • ALB00053126 – Location negotiable within South Zone


Connect Care July 13 Newsletter Posted

The July 13, 2018, Connect Care Newsletter is available via the link below, covering role-based training and taking stock of accomplishments to date.


Visible Agency

As we progress with Connect Care configuration and build, then check back with stakeholders through Adoption & Validation, the time has come to transition from vendor-facilitated presentations to AHS-facilitated demonstrations. Happily, our technical specialists and clinical informaticians (including physician leads, physician builders and medical informatics leads) have trained to the point that they can confidently share the emerging clinical information system (CIS) features and workflows with AHS users. Such interactions build confidence and help translate user reactions to sensible re-configuration requirements.

Such AHS Connect Care CIS “agency” will be apparent at Adoption & Validation #2 in August, by which time clinical leads will have access to a new Connect Care simulation and demonstration environment since late July.

A key to Connect Care agency is for physician leaders to master CIS design and function. We are pleased to report that, to date, 54 physician leaders have completed a 1-day Epic overview course, 40 have completed a 3-day course, 18 have completed basic physician builder training, 2 have completed advanced physician builder training and 1 has progressed to advanced competency in Epic analytics. Others are in-training and too many to count have completed self-directed online learning modules.


Connect Care: How are we doing so far?

Almost 9 months since the official (contractual) start of Connect Care, the time is right to acknowledge what we've collectively accomplished. Although we wish some configuration tasks were further along, the Connect Care initiative continues to achieve a myriad of (ambitious) milestones early in its (shortened) 5-year plan.

Thankfully, many requirements for a provincial clinical information system (CIS) were anticipated. We leverage the good work of Strategic Clinical Networks, Quality Safety & Outcomes, Clinical Knowledge & Content Management, Strategic Transformation Questions, eSafety, infrastructure enhancement and other efforts to transform health care provincially.

We also acclimatize a critical success factor... being inclusive. All zones, sites, disciplines and stakeholders are involved, including input from patient advisors. All deserve credit for rapid progress in many areas:

  • Credible Oversight: A robust and enduring provincial oversight structure brings governance, advocacy and community empowerment to Connect Care, ensuring representative guidance through design and build, and responsive optimization indefinitely. The associated committees, councils, advisory groups and workgroups have proved positive and productive. The decision-making experience already nurtures curious, collaborative and empowered stakeholders.
  • Early Engagement: Over 3,000 physicians, clinicians, staff and patients have participated in groundwork, scoping, direction-setting, clinical system design and adoption & validation activities; often in demanding multi-day sessions. They directly ensure commitment to purpose over product.
  • Shared Decision-Making: Already many thousands of answered questions address how Connect Care is configured to support the way we work. Many more thousands guide the selection, adaptation and development of clinical content (documentation, decision and inquiry supports) to help patients, practitioners and policy-makers. 
  • Dynamic Build: To date, reactions to the emerging Connect Care build have been very positive. Iterative exposure of work completed, review by stakeholders and then re-adjustment continues, with responsive build activities finishing by early 2019 when simulation and testing begins.
  • Principles-Based: Guiding principles for governance, system build, design management, scope management, decision support, documentation, embedded analytics, eSafety and many other domains help decision-makers work to a common purpose. 
  • Solid Foundation: Disaster resilient data centres are built and linked, with the CIS software installed and taking shape. Clear frameworks guide selection and deployment of wireless, workstations and mobile devices.
  • Scope Managed: The capabilities of our integration partner (Epic Systems) are known, potentially important clinical or safety gaps explored, and decisions about complementary systems made; emphasizing integration, simplicity and sustainability.
  • Implementation Plans: Work continues to sequence roll-out waves. Use of resources and change agents is carefully choreographed. Plans for training and supporting over 7,000 prescribers and 110,000 staff are underway, with zones and sites ramping up their own effector streams.
Rapid change, with such profound implications, occurs on a scale never before experienced in our organization.  It solidifies our identity as a principled public service and prepares us for even greater change as we get ready for CIS implementation starting late 2019.


Connect Care Town Hall Meetings

An increasing proportion of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) community has had direct exposure to Connect Care. Committees, councils, advisory groups, workgroups, direction-setting, system design and now adoption & validation have actively involved a wide range of stakeholders, giving tangible experience of what Connect Care is and how it progresses. Initiative awareness surveys confirm that “the word is out”.

With awareness comes changing information needs. In order to broaden our community understanding, while more dynamically responding to questions of the day, quarterly Connect Care Town Halls offer a new option for updates, questions and answers.

The first takes place July 11, 2018. To accommodate anticipated numbers, a telehealth session for North and Edmonton Zones (1230-1330) will be followed by a second for Central, Calgary and South Zones (1400-1500). Telehealth locations and connection details will be posted to Connect Care Insite.