More Onsite Resources for Clinicians

In addition to the physician drop-in centre and dictation drop-in sessions, new in-person supports are available from today at the Walter Mackenzie Centre:
  • Physician Training Drop-in (open to all questions)
    • October 29 - November 1
      • WMC 5G1.11 (5th floor northeast)
      • 0700-2300
    • November 2 - November 10
      • WMC 4B1.39
      • 24 hours availability
    • November 11 forward
      • WMC 4B1.39
      • 0700-2300
  • Mobile Device Support
    • WMC 4th Floor Atrium
    • Monday-Friday, 0700-1500
    • October 29 - November 15, 2019
  • Point of Care (Ward & Clinic) Scanner Support
    • Medical Records Conference Room, WMC 0E1.25
    • Wed, Thurs, Fri, 0800-1700
    • October 30 - November 1, 2019


Virtual Login Lab - Very Important for Wave 1 Physicians

We thank all Wave 1 physicians for their patience, resourcefulness and continuing support getting ready for Connect Care. Launch is very close. We ask that all Wave 1 medical staff confirm that they have the working access to the Production (PRD) version of the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). The following "virtual login lab" allows physicians to take advantage of supports newly put in place.

To ensure your access is live take these steps:
  1. Logon to the access portal with your AHS username and password --> myapps.ahs.ca 
  2. Ensure that the Connect Care "PRD" icon is available
  3. Logon to PRD with your username and password
  4. Confirm that you have the expected Connect Care tools for your role(s)
If all 4 steps work, you are ready to go! 

If any step fails, report the problem with a quick online report --> ahs-cis.ca/check

A login trouble-shooting team will contact you within 24 hours of report submission. If you have not heard from the team within 24 hours, please  call 780-735-1600. Phones will be active from 0700- 1700.

There is currently a prescribers’ Drop-In Centre at WMC 5G1.11, available from 0700-2300, where login help is available.  This will continue through go live but will be open 24 hours a day from November 2-12 at a location TBD. Pre-emptive testing will ensure we have the opportunity to correct any deficiencies thereby preventing further disruption on November 3 when Connect Care launches.


Physicians' Role in Cutover

Cut-over is a process through which key pieces of information about admitted inpatients are entered into the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) in the 48 hours prior to launch. Cutover includes both technical and clinical elements.

The primary concern for physicians will be the management of medication and non-medication orders, and the translation of important information about patients’ clinical status from a paper record to an electronic one.

Physicians facilitate five tasks as part of cutover processes:
  1. validating continuing medications to be entered by pharmacists,
  2. documenting continuing non-medication orders to be entered by the cutover nurses,
  3. optionally entering or validating patient-level health information for patients with complex problems,
  4. validating entered orders on the launch morning, and
  5. providing a brief summary note of the patient’s status at launch.
The following resources can help physicians understand and participate in cutover activities:


Filling Workflow Gaps

Workflow is about how a series of tasks are organized, assigned and accomplished to serve a specific purpose. Clinical workflow serves a clinical purpose. Connect Care workflow focuses upon how the organization, assignment and accomplishment of tasks is optimized to take advantage of clinical information system (CIS) features and functions.

Most workflows are explored during Connect Care training and readiness activities. Some gaps remain. Some workflows are complex. Some differ significantly from paper-enabled processes. A workflow section of the Connect Care Physician Manual grows with tips, guides and demos that address particularly challenging or complex workflows. The sections are short; more guides to support materials for those who find a workflow that matters to their work.

Keep an eye on the manual this week, as new workflow sections appear addressing professional billing, consent management, handoff reports, medication reconciliation and triplicate prescriptions. Recent additions include:


Connect Care Physician Manual - Updates

The Connect Care Physician Manual (manual.connect-care.ca) gathers tips, guides, resources and norms for prescribers using the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). The focus is essential information addressing the particular needs of physicians and other prescribers.

The Manual grows with the needs of the time. The current emphasis is on personalization tips, filling gaps between training and production CIS, finding supports, and introducing the norms that will help us help one another after launch.

Note that the buttons at the bottom of all Manual pages now include a link to the new Connect Care Concierge.

Recent updates include:


Connect Care Weekly Review - October 25, 2019

A big thank you to all the physicians groups who have welcomed us to special meetings to help with last-minute planning (and a tinge of panic?). It is always good to meet directly with colleagues. We have great capacity. We will rise to the Connect Care challenge. And we will do our best to fit in more just-in-time meetings this week. Contact cmio@ahs.ca.

Some highlights from the week past:
  • Connect Care Newsletter
    The latest is linked.
  • Physician Training
    ~99 % of Wave 1 physicians have registered for basic and personalization training. ~3,000 physicians, residents, students and nurse practitioners have already attending basic training. The classes are working at full capacity. Still, don't get missed! We will find a way to get all who need training ready to work in Connect Care for launch. Priority is given to those with clinical duties in the first days/weeks.
  • Physician Production System Readiness
    About 2,700 physicians have completed of privacy awareness training (InfoCare) and 1,900 have completed competency assessments (EUPA). Both milestones must be met in order to gain access to the full Connect Care clinical information system. We understand that the MyLearningLink system has failed to record many completions, and so have provided an attestation equivalency. Despite these efforts, we fear many clinicians are not aware that they have not been credited for having completed these milestones. We are contacting affected physicians and expediting attestations. Please contact help.cmio@ahs.ca if you don't know why you do not have PRD access.
  • Dictation
    Some technical problems with the Dragon Medical One in-system dictation tool have been tracked down and resolved. The system is now working efficiently.
  • Drop-In Centre
    Drop-in Centres have opened at the University Hospital and have been well attended. 
  • Drop-In Dictation Support
    Supplemental dictation workshops have also been appreciated.
  • Connect Care Concierge Launches
    A user help portal (one of many ways to gain support) has launched and is ready to receive non-urgent problem reports and feature requests.


Locating Connect Care Downtime Plans

A Clinical information system (CIS) can suffer performance degradation, or even a complete "downtime", affecting one or more functions. Service interruptions can be planned (maintenance) or unplanned.

Of course we don't want, or expect, unplanned downtimes. But it would be silly to not prepare for the possibility. Business continuity relates to support of clinical and administrative workflows when CIS functions are compromised.

Connect Care has implemented a robust cloud-based Recovery Planner (RPX) to support business continuity, provide a common front for downtime plans, and be resilient to local technical or software failures. We'll post more information about RPX as it deploys.

For now, through downtime and recovery procedure information is available at downtime.connect-care.ca (insite). If the website should become unavailable, contact the IT Service Desk and Solution Centre (1-877-311-4300) to get copies of downtime guides.


Upcoming Connect Care Presentations

A couple of presentations are of interest to the Connect Care community on the eve of Wave 1 launch.

Connect Care Go-Live
  • Friday November 1, 2019, 0700-0900, Bernard Snell Theatre, University of Alberta Hospital
  • Sponsored by: Alberta Health Services; Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry; Medical Staff Society
  • Welcoming all interested clinicians and Wave 1 stakeholders
  • Open forum, questions and answers, with panel of Connect Care clinical and operational leaders
  • Poster: Connect Care Go-Live
Connect(ed) Care
  • Tuesday October 29, 2019, 1200-1300 Webinar 
  • Register at https://is.gd/pfccweek or patient.engagement@ahs.ca
  • How can a clinical information system positively impact patients and families? How can the provider-patient relationship be protected and enhanced?
  • Poster: Connect(ed) Care


Workflow QuickSteps - Consultation and Referral

We know that a number of important tasks were not adequately exposed in basic or personalization training. Sometimes functions or tools that had not made it to the training environments or curricula. Other times build was not quite signed off by clinical colleagues.

We've promised to provide simple guidance backed by short demos (<3min) that can be copied, practiced and personalized. Our first Workflow "QuickStep" relates to referral management. This has been the subject of a huge effort at rationalization and standardization. Now we can turn our attention to the essential skills that clinicians need to master.

For each Workflow QuickStep, we provide a high level summary in the physician manual, one or more tip sheets, a FAQ if needed, and a few quick demos. Check out the referral and consultation QuickStep! The manual provides links to all related materials:


Drop-In Dictation (Dragon) Sessions

Intrigued by the possibilities of Connect Care speech recognition and in-system dictation? But intimidated about how to get started?

Consider learning and sharing with peers at a DMO (Dragon Medical One) drop-in Session!

Who:Prescribers (physicians, residents, medical students, dentist, nurse practitioner, clinical associate, etc.) anticipating use of DMO in Connect Care workflows
What:Informal peer-to-peer help with PowerMic Mobile set up, high-value voice commands and efficient documentation tricks.
Where:WMC 5G1.11 and WMC 0C2.59 (University Hospital)
When:Oct 21-25, 2019, 1015-1215 and 1745-1945 at WMC 5G1.11
Oct 26, 2019, 1015-1215 at WMC 0C2.59


Drop-in Training & Personalization Support

Feeling anxious? Want some last-minute help? Want to trade strategies with peers? A few moments at a Connect Care prescribers' Drop-In Centre might be just the thing!

Who:Prescribers (physicians, residents, medical students, dentist, nurse practitioner, clinical associate, etc.)
What:Informal peer-to-peer help with clinical information system use, personalization and workflows, especially those not covered in basic training.
Where:WMC 5G1.11 (University Hospital, Fifth floor NE)
When:Oct 22 to Nov 1, 2019, 0700-2300
Nov 2-12, 2019, 24 hours a day (location TBD)
Nov 13-18, 2019, 0800-2300 (location TBD)

Even if you have taken your Connect Care training, you may still have questions about personalization, mobility apps or how to effectively work in Connect Care.  The CMIO training team will be available each day from now until after launch to lend a hand... and learn from you!


Connect Care Weekly Review - October 18, 2019

The pace quickens! Thank you to all of the physicians who have stepped forward to participate in a wide range of readiness and implementation activities. Thank  you also to all our colleagues who are following the countdown checklists and getting personally ready for launch.

Some highlights from the week past:
  • Appointment conversion
    Many clinicians review data conversion from eCLINICIAN to Connect Care of upcoming clinic appointments. The mapping is tricking because of different classifications of visit types but mitigations are in place and the work will be done on time. The conversion weekend progressed through >70,000 referral conversions, ~120,000 appointment conversion in the first 24h, with just a handful of errors found. A a great success that gives confidence in our appointment types and department mappings.
  • Launch Supports and Command Structure Communications about how users will be supported at and after launch start to circulate, while the schedule of Command Structure activities is being finalized for the first 4-6 weeks post-launch. Already some launch supports are in play. Watch for openings of drop-in centres!
  • Cut-over Dry RunInpatient cut-over occurs in the two days immediately prior to launch day. Current patients are registered in the CIS and their charts are seeded with essential information about orders, medications and clinical history. A dry run successfully tested the health information interfaces that need to activate at the same time. Tools for chart extracts are developed and tested.
  • Medical Therapy Plan ConversionPatients whose treatment extends over person, time and place are on "Therapy Plans" for complex outpatient therapies. Existing plan conversion into Connect Care progresses now.
  • Medical Outpatient Unit OrdersMedical outpatient units function somewhere between inpatient and outpatient norms. Special preparations are made to ensure that their investigations and interventions are supported at launch. Conversions are underway, to finish November 1.
  • Oncology Protocol ConversionPatients currently on Oncology treatment protocols need to have their information and stage of treatment converted into Connect Care. This work is underway.
  • Outpatient Chart AbstractionClinics moving from eCLINICIAN benefit from extensive data conversion. Still some old chart content may need to be abstracted into new charts so that scheduled patients will have a sufficient record when seen at launch. Over 1000 charts are already abstracted.
  • Research ConversionHere again, patients on current research protocol treatment plans need to have their information, orders and recurring tests entered to Connect Care so there is continuity of research at launch. Over 200 studies are supported.
  • Shadow ChartingThese real-time simulations have continued and continue to prove invaluable for orientation, training and discovering tweaks needed before launch. User feedback is very positive. Within resource limits, a few more sessions are being planned to address readiness needs of complex areas.
  • Physician Training
    We continue to progress with 99% of physicians registered for basic and personalization training (seems like ~20 docs have gone walkabout!), 2,920 physicians are finished basic training and all medical learners are trained.
  • Medical Office Assistant TrainingIt has proved challenging to identify medical office assistants in independent clinics who need Connect Care access and training. ~150 are registered to training tracks.
  • Mobility
    As of last week, we have >1,125 mobile devices successfully installed with Haiku or Canto. A new physician portal has opened and lots of mobility tips are flowing in.


Apple Purchase Portal for Connect Care Physicians

NOTE: the Apple Physician Device Purchase Portal has been discontinued. Discounts are still available through AHS and University purchase programs.

We previously posted about things to consider when selecting a personal mobile device for physician use with the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). We also posted about a new arrangement between Apple and Alberta Health Services to provide enterprise support for clinicians using Apple devices with the CIS.

We are now pleased to confirm availability of a physician purchase portal for Apple devices. The available devices are selected for their fit to rounding and other workflows where personal computing can be most helpful. An exception is iPhones, since both pricing and support is better had through one's mobile phone and wireless services provider.

CIS-ready tablet and notebook computers purchased through the portal are backed by extended enterprise AppleCare support at no additional cost.
NOTE: please see comments on this item


Got your Back!

There is a lot of (anxiety-tinged) excitement as we close in on Connect Care's Wave 1 launch. Everyone is impacted; even those at Zone sites that do not yet implement the clinical information system (CIS). Naturally, we wonder about the who and how of end-user support. We also need to know how unexpected issues will be identified, reported, understood and resolved. 

Medical and Operational Leaders work together in a launch "Command Structure” that coordinates user-supports and problem-solving during launch and for a number of weeks afterwards. This operates 24/7, constantly receiving concerns from clinical groups, managers and leaders. There will be "ears to the ground" everywhere; using rounds, divisional meetings, unit scrums, Super User reports,  and drop-in conversations to capture issues, then channel these to the Connect Care Service Desk & Solution Centre. Throughout the day, diverse Command teams will meet to discuss and resolve issues. Updates will be shared Zone-wide on a regular basis. 

Wave 1 launch deploys the Connect Care CIS to specific facilities and clinics. But the entire Zone monitors clinical impacts, ready to redirect service loads where and when needed.  The Command Structure will dovetail with a Zone Emergency Operations Centre (ZEOC) to ensure an integrated and coordinated approach to addressing service loads, protecting patient safety, and communicating to stakeholders. 

Those putting hands to keyboards (or mouths to microphones!) in early November will have diverse supports:  
  • Super Users will be “at-the-elbow” to guide clinicians (be sure to identify and work with your own Super User, who will help solve problems and log issues and requests). 
  • The CIS Learning Home Dashboards will update guides about how to support workflows with CIS tools.
  • The Connect Care Physician Manual (manual.connect-care.ca) will be updated regularly, reflecting the essential knowledge and skills needed for physicians to make headway with Connect Care.
  • The Connect Care Physician Blogs (blogs.connect-care.ca) have channels for peer-to-peer tips, FAQs and supports. Check daily (or subscribe) for help with unique informational needs of physicians.
Don't be shy! Reach out early and often. A solution or mitigation is likely just a call away.


Taking Care

Connect Care has taken care to design, build and configure the best possible clinical information system. Now, as a community of users, we need to take care of one another through change and challenge.

As we near the first Wave launch, we can feel the excitement building. We also know that workload and demands increase as preparations progress. We recognize that teams are working very hard and deeply appreciate the efforts.

But even with thorough planning and preparation, implementing what we've collectively built will present unanticipated challenges. Some will be urgent – some will not. We are exploring every eventuality to ensure Connect Care is a success. We have taken our time, considered possibilities, tested and re-tested, and involved staff, physicians and patients at every step of the way. We have resourced to support our people while keeping patient safety and service our top priority.

All preparations aside, our greatest protective is our people. We have surmounted extreme challenge before and will do so again. Connect Care has built a clinical information system that will continually improve. More importantly, Connect Care has grown the people capacity to understand, collaborate and problem-solve informational issues. We have trained and empowered clinical informaticians, super users, trainers and a wealth of other human resources. Now we must leverage that capacity to tackle the challenges to come; leaning on one another to navigate change and seize opportunity.

Connect Care has moved from workgroups to hallways. Let's buddy-up, trust our abilities, take care of one another, and make this work!


Disaster Recovery Exercise

It is very important that we have a robust and tested disaster recovery plan before Connect Care launch. The processes have been in the works for years, yielding multiple layers of fail-over protection and a resilient infrastructure. Nonetheless, hardware, software and process needs to be tested with fully functional clinical information system (CIS) and support modules.

The Connect Care Disaster Recovery Plan will be put to the test October 16, 2019 after 2200. The exercise will simulate a real disaster. The ability of a downed data centre to fail-over to one of the back-up data centres will be checked together with continuity of CIS functions as the primary data source switches from one urban centre to another.

CIS environments could go down and so the timing avoids interruption of known training events.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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:


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:


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.


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.


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.


Enterprise Support for Physician Personal Apple Devices

Many physicians anticipate using personal mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) for Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) access. Indeed, getting the Haiku (Apple or Android smartphone), Canto (Apple iPad) and PowerMic Mobile (Apple or Android) applications ready for use happens during personalization workshops.

Some physicians contemplate device purchases or upgrades and wonder if there are any supports for physicians affiliated with Alberta Health Services.

There are two important considerations: 1) volume purchase discounts and 2) purchased device support assistance.

Alberta Health Services, like other health and academic organizations, enjoys a modest discount if Apple devices are purchased as part of its employee purchase program. Physicians with an AHS relationship (e.g. privileges) are eligible. Physicians with University affiliations may want to compare discounts available through the AHS Employee and the Apple education programs.
In addition, Apple and AHS will soon release an Apple purchase portal for AHS physicians. By purchasing devices through this portal, physicians receive 2 or more years of extended warranty protection plus access to technical support, accidental damage protection and dedicated AHS device services. This is expected at least 2 weeks pre-launch. Physicians may want to defer new purchases until that time.
Keep receipts! Physicians are eligible for medical hardware purchase supports through the Alberta Medical Association. University physicians may be eligible for some further equipment purchase supports.

Update: both the Apple Physician Purchasing Portal and the AMA computer support programs have been discontinued. 

NOTE: please see comments on this item


Workflow Dress Rehearsals Coming

Another important Wave 1 Connect Care readiness event is soon upon us. A series of "Workflow Dress Rehearsals" (WDR) occur between October 9-10 and 15-16 in outpatient and inpatient settings respectively.

Workflow Dress Rehearsals (WDR) provide clinicians with opportunity for hands-on practice using the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) in simulated workflows. Our own CIS build is exposed for testing in real clinical environments, usually with the computers and devices that will be used at launch. Physicians, nurses, other clinicians, managers and the project team work together to identify issues and find solutions pre-launch.

For more information:


A good day!

It will take a lot of discipline to stick to daily postings! There is so much happening that weeks of accomplishments are packed into a single day. And the pace increases daily.

We are down to a month left before Wave 1 launch!

Our 30 day Launch Readiness Assessment (LRA) was well attended today, with deep gratitude to the many who have worked tirelessly to overcome obstacles and meet milestones. Yes, some worries remain. But resolution of so many seemingly impossible challenges is reassuring to witness.

Prior to the LRA meetings, our Provincial Practitioner Executive Committee met and considered Connect Care compacts and norms (see yesterday's posting), giving positive review and endorsement. It is important for leadership to be fully aware of the best behaviours that our physician communities need to promote.

After the LRA meetings, Wave 1 medical leadership worked through a number of vexing launch readiness plans, yielding clear direction about cut-over processes for inpatient charts.

We are thrilled to see two physicians celebrated as Connect Care Champions: Dr. Branko Braam and Dr. Neal Chatterjee.

And it was pleasing to finish the day getting report that Connect Care integration with the Pharmacy Information Network is ready for physician testing, as blogged in our Informatics channel.


Connect Care October 2019 Calendar

A summary of key Connect Care happenings in October 2019 has been posted to the Alberta Health Services (AHS) internal Connect Care website, linked below.

Norms and Compacts

The Connect Care initiative brings major change to how clinicians work, share and serve. Despite best efforts to design best workflows, Connect Care users face many unknowns as they go through transformative adaptation to discover optimized practices. Modernized policies and procedures will emerge.

Connect Care faces its change management unknowns with user-validated principles. These inform statements of reciprocal expectation and accountability between providers and consumers of health information services. Such are "compacts". Typically short and simple, compacts can be easier to action than complex agreements or contracts.

Where the focus is on expectations and accountabilities of users towards one another, we speak of "norms". These describe best behaviors that help all Connect Care stakeholders to do their best.

Connect Care compacts and norms are summarized in the new Connect Care Physician Manual, with links to formal compact and norm statements; also linked here: