AHS eMail Migration - Check your Junk Mail

We've previously posted about migration of AHS email services to Outlook 365 for many Connect Care physicians.

A few months in, we are hearing surprise from some users checking their "Junk Email" folder to find a proportion of the content clearly not Junk.

Microsoft defines Junk as "...spam, which are unsolicited and universally unwanted messages (when identified correctly)". 

Office 365 servers use Microsoft's "Exchange Online Protection (EOP)" to spare us from phishing, spam and other inappropriate messages. In addition, machine learning is used to further filter messages that may be benign but unwanted.

It appears that the move to a new communications service has triggered some re-learning. 

What to do? Keep a closer eye on your Junk Email folder in Outlook 365, at least for the next few months. When a non-Junk message is found, either right-click and select "Mark as Not Junk" or use a different right-click command to add the sender to one's contacts. Outlook should not flag mail from contacts as junk (unless discovered to be malicious). Outlook will (re)learn and the false-positive rate should go down.

Junk Email settings are configured by AHS. It is not possible for users to opt-out through user preferences. This makes sense because EOP prevents hacking (especially phishing) as well as spam.


Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case #2 Recordings

The Connect Care Inquiry Clinics continue Tuesday and Thursday at noon. Those who cannot make the scheduled times can access related recordings:

Participants are encouraged to check the Manual section on Reporting Workbench for background information, additional tips, e-learnings and guides. 


Connect Care Wave 2 Workflow Dress Rehearsals - Physician Participation

An important Wave 2 Connect Care readiness event is soon upon us. A series of "Workflow Dress Rehearsals" (WDR) occur between October 5-6 and 13-14 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. The current CIS build is exposed for testing in real clinical contexts, usually with the computers and devices that will be used at Wave 2 launch. Physicians, nurses, other clinicians, managers and the project team work together to identify any issues and find solutions pre-launch.

The WDR events (at each Wave 2 facility) promote end-user confidence, give teams a chance to check that workflows work as intended, demonstrate that end-users can successfully complete Connect Care and facilitate end-user understanding of downstream effects of their actions.

Physician participation (and help with demonstration) is very important!

For more information and to sign up for participation or observation (physician roles are listed in the schedules):


On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to; see right sidebar instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. Some recent additions to this blog and other channels:


Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case #2 - Patient Safety & Med Exposure

We've previously posted about this being a good time to explore Connect Care's measure, report, visualization, dashboard and other inquiry support tools. Excellent reporting training opportunities continue to be available via MyLearningLink.

Connect Care Inquiry Clinics explore user-submitted cases, considering the best match of problem to in-system reporting, analytic or visualization tools. Resources are provided, casework is shared, and participants are encouraged to adapt learnings to their needs. Case referrals are accepted where available Connect Care tools can be used to advantage with data already available (rob.hayward@ahs.ca).

Inquiry Clinics occur approximately weekly via Zoom and are repeated to accommodate participant schedules:
  • Tuesday noon (12:00-13:00)
  • Thursday noon (12:00-13:00) repeat
The second clinic is scheduled for September 29 and October 1, 2020. This week's cases explore how to use Reporting Workbench ('My Reports') for some example patient safety queries.


Connect Care in the Media

Alberta news media reports today that Connect Care launch waves are delayed due to COVID-19. 

This is old information. There is no news that should concern Connect Care stakeholders. 

The media references decisions made at the beginning of the pandemic; decisions long integrated into project planning, delivery and communication.  There are no new delays or other impacts to the upcoming Wave 2 launch scheduled for October 24, 2020.

Connect Care remains one of Alberta Health Service’s top organizational priorities.  Delaying the previously planned Wave 2 launch allowed Connect Care to redirect efforts to development and implementation of COVID-related clinical content and to fast-track public health supports and interfaces that otherwise would have occured in later waves. In short, Connect Care did not slow or pause... it accelerated to address an urgent provincial challenge. 

In addition, teams were able to give more time to post-launch optimization and to redesign of training programs to be more pandemic-tolerant. All clinical content required for the next waves is ready to go, including the validation of content for specialties that are new to Connect Care like Women’s Health. 

Everything is tracking well for the October 24 wave 2 launch, with site readiness work near completion and end user training well underway.


Help Improve Medication Reconciliation Workflows

Medication documentation is about how medication decisions are recorded, communicated, validated and followed. Medication reconciliation adds a check of a patient's expected and actual home medication use. It is a mandated element of all admissions to inpatient units. 

Medication reconciliation is not easy on paper and proves challenging in digital workflows. We would like to understand why and use that understanding to improve Connect Care.

Please help! 

We are keen to hear from clinicians already using Connect Care at wave 1 sites. A very short survey asks what is working, and not working, with medication reconciliation; and what could be improved. Resources are available to act on survey findings, so responses matter. 

Please provide input before October 23, 2020:


Connect Care Scheduled Integration Downtime - Thursday September 24, 2020, 00:45-01:30

The Connect Care clinical information system shares information with a number of other health information systems. The associated interfaces need periodic maintenance. 

A scheduled update to the Connect Care integration engine will occur Thursday September 24, 2020 in the early morning hours (after midnight) between 00:45 and 01:30.  Some system interfaces are affected but not the main medical record.

There will be no user-perceived change in function post-update. However, improvements will be made to communication channels between the medical record and some supporting information systems.

During the short downtime, Connect Care users may note delays in patient and clinical information exchanged between Connect Care and other applications. Information entered during the downtime will be queued and then automatically updated once the integration engine restarts. 

PRD will not go offline. In addition, Netcare remains available. 


Ordering Therapy Plans -- Wave 2 Prescriber-Led Support Sessions

Clinicians and prescribers who participate in the conversion of Therapy Plans (pre-defined collection of related orders that can apply to multiple encounters over time) for Wave 2 patients are invited to attend orientation sessions. These explain how therapy plans work, how they are used and how prior paper-based plans can be converted in readiness for launch. There will be demonstrations of Therapy Plan workflows.

The following sessions provide context, focusing on workflows, rather than specific plan conversion instructions. Although important for Wave 2 prescribers who anticipate Therapy Plan use, all Connect Care prescribers are welcome, as many may benefit from a refresher.

  • Wednesday October 7, 2020, 12:00- 13:00
  • Friday October 9, 2020, 7:00- 8:00

Zoom Meeting Information 


Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case #1 Recording

The Connect Care Inquiry Clinics started this week with exploration of a first Case in repeat sessions offered Tuesday and Thursday at noon. Those who could not make the scheduled times have asked for recordings:

Participants are encouraged to check the Manual section on Reporting Workbench for background information, additional tips, e-learnings and guides. 

The next clinics occur the week of September 28, 2020.


Patient Movement Virtual Drop-In Sessions

Patient movement is about how information flow supports healthcare flow.

A trauma patient can, for example, require task distribution among emergency, critical care, operating room, ward, interventional diagnostics and other care contexts. Each may have focus for a time, with orders and documentation appropriate to that time. 

The Patient Movement Team continues to study tricky-transitions, simplify user guides and facilitate change-management. The latest Drop-In supports build on prior Patient Movement Fundamentals Webinars and Patient Movement Bootcamps.

Virtual Drop-In sessions (10 in all) are offered between September 21 – October 2, 2020, during the noon hour, providing ample opportunity to get answers to questions about patient movement workflows in Connect Care.  Advance questions, issues and demo requests are welcome (see request link below).  

No questions? The Drop-Ins still give opportunity to learn more movement workflows and to share ideas with colleagues. The sessions adopt an informal question and answer approach.  


Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case 1 Prep

We've previously announced a series of "Connect Care Inquiry Clinics" occurring weekly via Zoom (repeated to accommodate participant schedules) with the first clinic facilitated by Rob Hayward on September 15 and 17, 2020:

The clinics by no means cover all that is worth knowing about inquiry support tools. Instead, we take the perspective of a curious clinician; seeking to improve processes and outcomes at the level of individuals or groups. Clinics offer an opportunity to explore practical uses of inquiry tools, while sharing some clinician-friendly tips. 

We will start with a review of features and enhancements in the Reporting Workbench (My Reports) toolkit, including strategies for finding, favouriting and organizing stock reports.  Our first "case" imagines a clinician seeking lists of patients served, their prevalent problems, and possible interventions.

We'll will align new blog postings (look in the informatics, questions and tips channels) and Manual additions to the theme of each clinic.

Participants are encouraged to check the Manual section on Reporting Workbench pre-clinic. 


All Prescriber Bulletin: Issues with Scanned Documents

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

Scanned Document Viewing Issues - Temporary
Connect Care upgrades were performed during a downtime in the early hours of September 10, 2020. Enterprise Content Management, which takes care of scanned documents added to the digital health record, was among the systems updated. 

Some users have experienced problems viewing scanned objects (e.g., external electrocardiograms) or scanning and adding new objects.

Central fixes are being applied, with expectation that scan-related error messages will rapidly disappear.

In the meantime, users are advised to avoid the Media tab in Chart Review if the same information can be obtained via the Imaging, Cardiology or Encounter (use ECS-Pt button to access scanned documents associated with an encounter) tabs.

New scanning should be avoided until expanded capacity comes online, with any urgent materials sent to the Health Information Management department onsite with a request for scanning.

We will post again only if all problems are not resolved by end of working day.
Update (2020-09-10, 16:00): The causative issue has been isolated and fixed. Generation, attachment and viewing of scanned objects is restored to normal function.


September Upgrade Complete - Lots of Enhancements

We previously posted about a substantive September 10, 2020 Connect Care upgrade, and a downtime now successfully completed.

There are no changes requiring re-training or new workflows. However, there are many user interface improvements and fixes that can improve users' experiences. Too many to take in all at one time.
We'll post enhancement notices daily in the Support channel (button above or support.connect-care.ca), which users can subscribe to. The enhancements thread can be specifically tracked via enhancements.connect-care.ca.

Today's posting is about improvements to the Patient Storyboard. Also note a new Support posting about the need for Haiku and Canto users to ensure that they have the most recent version of the app.


Feedback and Suggestions Welcome!

The Connect Care Manual (manual.connect-care.ca), blogs (blogs.connect-care.ca) and other resources (resources.connect-care.ca) are stewarded by the Alberta Health Services Chief Medical Information Office Editorial Board.

Mindful that we are soon to welcome another wave of prescribers to the Connect Care community, we are working to keep CMIO prescriber supports current, relevant and responsive. This includes upgrades to modernize the file repositories that make the Manual, Handbook, Glossary and blogs possible. A few broken links may emerge as the work wraps up.

All of our users are encouraged to report problems, suggest improvements, or help guide new content.

A "Feedback" button, keyed to the editorial board intake email, "cmio-manual@ahs.ca," is added to the bottom of all Manual pages, as well as to links in the right column of all blogs. Please feel free to help us help you!


On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to; see right sidebar instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. Some recent additions to this blog and other channels:


Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case 1 - Provider-Patient Associations

We've previously posted about this being a good time to explore Connect Care's measure, report, visualization, dashboard and other inquiry support tools. Excellent reporting training opportunities continue to be available via MyLearningLink.

Some of us could benefit from working through practical examples. Earlier we polled Connect Care clinicians for common inquiry needs. Responses provided use "cases" where use of one or more reporting tools could address a clinical need.

Connect Care Inquiry Clinics explore these user-submitted cases, considering the best match of problem to tool. Resources are provided, casework is shared, and participants are encouraged to adapt learnings to their particular needs. Case referrals are accepted where available Connect Care tools can be used to advantage with data already accrued (rob.hayward@ahs.ca).

Inquiry Clinics occur weekly via Zoom, are announced here a week in advance, and are repeated to accommodate participant schedules:
  • Tuesday noon (12:00-13:00)
  • Thursday noon (12:00-13:00) repeat
The first clinic is scheduled for September 15 and 17, 2020. The first case starts simple; exploring how to generate lists of patients with specified characteristics, as might serve a prescriber wondering how frequently a health condition is encountered.

Connect Care Transparent Lockdown - 16:00 September 4 - 05:00 September 10, 2020

Connect Care anticipates a significant upgrade in the early hours of September 10, 2020, as previously posted (with a link to a list of improvements).

Some upgrades require a systematic search for, and updating of, personalizations that users may have added to Connect Care. To facilitate this, a "transparent lockdown" is imposed during the days prior an upgrade.

The lockdown does not affect system performance, existing workflows, or the activities of most users (thus "transparent"). However, advanced users are prevented from generating new customizations and personalizations in some activities. Those most affecting prescribers relate to saving documentation macros, dashboard personalizations and some custom reports. For more details:

New: Enhancement Alerts

Enhancement updates provide short alerts to new, fixed or improved Connect Care functions...
  • Connect Care Enhancement Alerts
The Connect Care team attends to problem and improvement requests submitted by users via the Concierge (help.connect-care.ca), committees, councils and other routes. The numbers are impressive, with enhancements continually added to the clinical information system. Users, however, may not always appreciate which requests have been fulfilled and when. And it can be hard to filter out the changes most relevant to prescribers.

We have started to post short alerts to significant enhancements that may affect prescribers' experiences. These appear as a thread (category) within our the Connect Care support blog (support.connect-care.ca), to which users can subscribe. We will additionally call out important enhancements in "On Other Channels" postings.


Connect Care Scheduled Downtime - Thursday September 10, 2020, 00:30-05:00 AM

The Connect Care clinical information system needs periodic maintenance. The next scheduled update will occur Thursday September 10, 2020 in the early morning hours (after midnight) between 00:30 and 05:00.  On this occasion, Hyperspace, Transfusion (WellSky), Content (Quanum), MyAHS Connect and the Link Provider Portal systems are all affected.

This downtime enables a significant upgrade, with a number of updates and improvements. There are no changes to user workflows.
While PRD is offline, access to "PRDSRO" will be available for the majority (all but last 30 min) of downtime. The North BCA Web service is also available to access patient information. In addition, Netcare remains available.

Any paper ordering or charting will be uploaded by support staff once the downtime finishes. Physicians will want to validate this work. Charting deficiency notifications may appear later in In-Basket but can be addressed with the SmartPhrase ".DOWNTIME".

Additional instruction remains available in the Connect Care Physician Manual:


Nice Nod to Connect Care and Virtual Health Services

Dr. Daniel Baumgart has posted a nice call-out about the value of strong digital infrastructure when responding to the demands of a pandemic... with Connect Care highlighted.


On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to; see right sidebar instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. Quick recent highlights in blog and other channels: