2020-06-13

Connect Care Resumes Implementations

A Message from Dr. Francois Belanger & Sean Chilton: 

June 9, 2020

Dear staff, physicians and volunteers,

Along with re-launching other pre-pandemic activities across AHS, we are now re-launching Connect Care planning and implementation work for our next waves.

Waves 2 and 3 of Connect Care were temporarily delayed in March, given the significantly increased demands on our frontline physicians, staff and services, and the increased health risks our patients and healthcare teams faced due to COVID-19. While our response to COVID-19 continues, we are ready to resume the preparations for the upcoming waves. Those preparations were well underway before we paused this work.

Connect Care remains one of our highest organizational priorities. The delay of Connect Care allowed us to be strategic and align with the requirements of the public health measures and the demands on our staff and physicians for preparing and having the ability to respond to COVID-19.
As the pandemic demands increased, Wave 1 sites and programs were able to use Connect Care to support COVID-19 care. Connect Care was adapted to meet the needs of patients, staff and medical staff, including expanding our virtual care options, such as telephone and video visits for patients and families, adding travel screening and COVID-19 diagnosis areas to patient charts, and adapting a variety of other elements to support the COVID-19 response.

As we look to re-launch across Alberta, we know that the pandemic is not over and that we will need to maintain our ability to remain ready for COVID-19 patients in the foreseeable future. We have carefully assessed the situation and have adjusted our wave rollout plan and sequencing, based on the impact of COVID-19. Work also continued behind the scenes over the past months to lay the groundwork and put systems in place for new waves of Connect Care. Like so much of our work that has changed as a result of the pandemic, Connect Care’s re-launch will also include adaptations to how we prepare for the next waves – training and implementation will be modified from the models we used in Wave 1. The launch dates for waves 2, 3, and 4 are as follows:
  • Wave 2: Launch date - Saturday, October 24, 2020
  • Wave 3: Launch date - Saturday, February 27, 2021
  • Wave 4: Launch date - Saturday, June 5, 2021
Details about which sites and programs are included in these launches can be found on the wave scope and sequencing diagram.

As we move forward with the plans for these waves, and Wave 2 in particular, we are taking into consideration that COVID-19 will continue to have some impact on our health system and that we will need to be adaptable in accordance with the COVID-19 viral activity and utilization of AHS facilities.  We will continue to assess the impacts of COVID-19 and other factors that may impact our re-launch strategy throughout the coming months, so we can adapt as necessary.

Starting this week, you will see activities to prepare for Connect Care increasing in Wave 2, 3 and 4 sites, including work on the physical infrastructure, data collection, training and other work to get us ready for these Connect Care launches.

We look forward to getting Connect Care in place across Alberta. Learning new systems and work flows can be challenging, and we want you to know you will be supported throughout the process. We have learned much from our launch of Wave 1 and the experiences of our staff and physicians who paved the way. As we embark on these next waves, it is good to remember our long-term goals for Connect Care:

  • House all AHS, partner and affiliate medical records to support care wherever Connect Care is in place
  • Provide common decision-making tools and resources for clinicians, to ensure all our physicians and frontline staff have access to the same clinical standards and best healthcare practices
  • Allow all patients across Alberta to have access to their health information through the patient portal, MyAHS Connect
  • Implement more consistent and standardized clinical and business processes
  • Reduce the number of information systems which support clinical care

Ultimately, Connect Care means that the whole AHS healthcare team, including patients, will have the best possible information throughout their care journey.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we put this system in place to provide better healthcare to Albertans.

Dr. Francois Belanger
VP Quality and Chief Medical Officer

Sean Chilton
VP Health Professions and Practice and Information Technology

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