2020-10-30

Thanks for a great Wave 2 start!

A message of thanks from our Connect Care Triad:



Barb Kathol, Senior Program Officer, Connect Care; Penny Rae, Chief Information Officer; Stuart Rosser, Interim Chief Medical Information Officer

Virtual Drop-in Centre Hours

With the first full week of Connect Care at the Wave 2 sites coming to a close, launch support via the Virtual Drop-in Centre (virtualhelp.connect-care.ca) will be scaled back to daytime hours. 

As of Saturday, October 31, 2020, the Virtual Drop-in Centre will be open 07:00-23:00. If you require support outside these hours, please call the IT Service Desk & Solution Centre at 1-877-311-4300 (#1 for Connect Care) or visit help.connect-care.ca. 

For further information about Site and Virtual Drop-in Centre schedules, visit launchhelp.connect-care.ca. Also listed there are reminders about getting after-hours CMIO help for prescribers via Super Users, CMIO leader on call and help-cmio@ahs.ca.

2020-10-29

All User Bulletin - Fall Back (Nov 1 at 02:00)

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

Daylight Savings Time Ends 🕑 Fall Back
On November 1, 2020, clocks turn back 1 hour at 02:00 to become 01:00 when Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends.

While ambulatory care is little affected by what happens in the early hours of the morning on a weekend, emergent, inpatient, surgical and critical care can be sensitive to the loss or gain of time. 

Falling back poses unique challenges. For example, whether a change in blood glucose occurs over an hour, or a minute, can affect insulin protocols. With a clinical information system in play, time distortions impact medication administration records, clinical decision supports, and other digital details, especially if interfaced devices handle DST differently. 

Accordingly, a safe approach to the end of DST is to schedule a downtime. This will start at 01:50 in the early morning of Sunday, November 1, 2020. The downtime will end at approximately 03:00. Be sure to sign off all Hyperspace and Mobility sessions prior to 01:50 on November 1, 2020.

The DST downtime takes the place of the scheduled downtime that would have otherwise occurred on November 12.

PRDSRO and BCA Web North services, as well as Netcare, are expected to be available during the outage. Netcare, however, will not have results normally received from Connect Care. SRO is the best way to check for the latest results.

The Physician Manual lists key considerations:

2020-10-28

All Prescriber Bulletin - Test Patients in PRD

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

Keep Play in the Sandbox!

Demonstration patients are provided in the Production (PRD) environment to facilitate prescriber personalizations pre-launch. It is very important to limit use of these charts.

Never sign an order, communication or other action when working with a test patient. Strictly limit use to prepping order or documentation favourites or preferences. All system personalizations can be done without the use of test charts.

If practice with signing workflows is needed, do so in the PLY (play sandbox) environment.

MyAHS Connect (Patient Portal) Virtual Office Hours - November

We've previously posted about why this is the right time to promote Connect Care's patient portal, MyAHS Connect.

Although it is possible for physicians to initiate the patient activation process, it is bests for team members to collaborate taking advantage of every clinic or ER visit and every hospitalization. 

Clinics and wards working to improve patient participation in care can take advantage of virtual office hours focusing on portal activation processes:

Resources are available to help with clinic and team preparations, with current topics:
  • Activation workflows
  • Staff and provider roles in activation
  • Patient tasks and responsibilities
  • Proxy access processes

2020-10-27

Reminder: Personalization Power

Personalization is important for successful CIS adoption. Many groups benefit from having a few members create and share more advanced personalizations. Multiple pathways to proficiency are available:

Personalization Guides and Tips

The personalization section of the Clinician Manual gives a quick overview of key personalization tasks, opportunities and links. A number of enhancements are made to the Personalization Tips subsection to provide layered and specialty-aware advice about how to grow personalization skills.

Personalization Independent Learning

An online self-directed course, available via MyLearningLink (search for courses using "CMIO Personalization" keyword), covers a number of high-value personalizations for prescribers.

Power Personalization Workshops

A series of workshops are offered to help Connect Care prescribers leverage the power of personalization. Anyone is welcome. The focus will be on some of the more advanced adjustments that can dramatically speed up workflows. 

Personalization workshops are offered through the CMIO Virtual Drop-in Centre, repeated four times in the coming week:

  • October 27, 2020, 17:00-19:00 
  • October 29, 2020, 17:00-19:00 
  • November 3, 2020, 17:00-19:00 
  • November 5, 2020, 17:00-19:00 

Getting More From Your Dragon

"If you want to conquer the world, you best have dragons."
George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons, Game of Thrones

Looking to be slicker and faster (and happier!) with "Dragon Medical One" (DMO)?

Connect Care's in-system dictation solution consistently proves to be a physician's best friend. Dragon users can document with ease and automate repetitive workflows.

All Connect Care prescribers (current and previous waves) are encouraged to benefit from a DMO optimization session. These go beyond the basics, teaching how to do more with custom commands, hotkey shortcuts and dictation-triggered SmartText. 

All DMO optimization sessions are delivered via Zoom. This makes sessions easy to attend, and multiple time slots are available to choose from. Registration is requested, as group sizes are limited for a better learning experience. To register:
  • Visit My Learning Link (MLL)
  • Search for courses using “DMO Optimization” keyword
  • Select a session from among the available dates and times
    • Location: Zoom
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Dates: November 3, 4, 5, 10, 10, 12
    • Times: 0700-0800, 1200-1300, 1700-1800

2020-10-25

Smooth Wave 2 Launch

A huge thanks to all who worked so well together to achieve an exceptionally smooth cutover from legacy systems (and paper!) to Connect Care at Wave 2 sites yesterday. Emergency, medical, surgical and obstetrical care have ramped up in the new system.

Launch occurred on time with clinical work progressing well at all Wave 2 sites. Indeed, ambulance diversions are ending.

Physician "huddles" occur twice a day. Any significant issues are rapidly characterized, assigned and sorted. Physicians can track this problem-solving through daily postings in the Support channel (support.connect-care.ca).  

All in all, a great launch!

2020-10-24

Connect Care Wave 2 Launch - Support Hot Topics

New daily postings in the Support channel (support.connect-care.ca) flag high-priority needs raised in physicians huddles, usually with links to helpful solutions. 

A day's post can be updated many times as new needs emerge. Super Users and other prescriber supporters may want to subscribe to receive Support postings via email.

Also note that new "Tippies" appear daily in the Tips channel (tips.connect-care.ca).

Wave 2: We are GO!

All interfaces and all other dependencies have cleared. We've launched on time at 0500!


Onward to better health, powered by information!

Today we welcome many colleagues to the Connect Care community, including Sturgeon Community Hospital, Fort Saskatchewan Hospital, Devon General Hospital, Leduc Community Hospital, Northeast Community Health Centre, Strathcona Community Hospital, Westview Health Centre, Gibbons Health Unit, Morinville Clinic Building, Redwater Health Centre, University of Alberta Hospital Dialysis, Plaza 124 Building, Seventh Street Plaza.

A welcome from our CEO:



Physicians, please make use of the drop-in centre and other launch supports (launchhelp.connect-care.ca). We have pulled in extra resources to deal with any access or role problems.

2020-10-23

Introducing Wave 2

The Connect Care community is thrilled to welcome Wave 2 colleagues, who have excelled at getting ready for launch in the early hours of Saturday morning. Some facts to introduce the Wave 2 cohort...

Wave 2 launches at suburban sites in the Edmonton Zone:

  • Sturgeon Community Hospital
  • Fort Saskatchewan Hospital
  • Devon General Hospital
  • Leduc Community Hospital
  • Northeast Community Health Centre
  • Strathcona Community Hospital
  • Westview Health Centre

Other locations will have some partial launches:

  • Plaza 124 Building
  • Seventh Street Plaza
  • University of Alberta dialysis 

There are 4,875 staff and over 1,100 prescribers (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and dentists):

  • 1,066 physicians
  • 33 nurse practitioners
  • 2 nurse practitioner students
  • 15 clinical assistants
  • 3 physician assistants

Other Wave 2 providers include:

  • 456 inpatient nurses
  • 319 rural nurses
  • 35 pharmacists
  • 75 respiratory therapists  
  • 23 midwives

With Waves 1 and 2 combined, there will be 27,000 staff and prescribers using Connect Care.

2020-10-22

Prescriber Drop-In Centres Now Open - Virtual and On-Site

The Connect Care Wave 2 prescriber drop-in centres are now open! 

These centres are good for troubleshooting issues related to mobility, personal device, dictation, personalization and workflows, as well as login, role and access problems. 

More information on the drop-in centres and their hours can be found at launchhelp.connect-care.ca.


Extra Personalization Support

Personalization is important for successful CIS adoption. Many groups benefit from having a few members create and share more advanced personalizations. 

Connect Care Physician Builders offer focused support for prescriber personalization questions through the Virtual Drop-in Centre during the following times:

  • October 27, 2020, 17:00-19:00 
  • October 29, 2020, 17:00-19:00 
  • November 3, 2020, 17:00-19:00 
  • November 5, 2020, 17:00-19:00 

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. On the eve of Wave 2 launch, there are many recent additions to this blog and its various channels to note:

2020-10-21

Connect Care Wave 2 - Why Now?

Connect Care Wave 2 launches in just a few days. Site physicians new to Connect Care, as well as those shouldering re-directed work, may question the wisdom of adding informational stress to pandemic pressure. These concerns are taken seriously. The risks and benefits of clinical information system (CIS) launch are weighed, and re-weighed.

COVID Pressures

Unfortunately, pandemic pressures are unlikely to change anytime soon. Indeed, we will continue to adapt for years to come. 

One of our most effective adaptations is Connect Care. The CIS, where implemented, has enabled more flexible practice, safer workflows, better integration with laboratory and virtual health services, and rapid deployment of new guidelines and decision supports. The more sites we have on Connect Care, the smoother we transition COVID patients to the level and location of care they need. 

On balance, pandemic pressures are easier to manage on Connect Care than off (also a factor in launch decisions by other large sites). 

No Good Time

The lead up to a launch date is complex and effortful. Training, technology, people and processes are all readied and aligned. There are so many interdependencies that any launch deferral would be to a much later date, with no assurance that conditions would have improved by then. We are in a strong position now, with excellent Super User, leader, drop-in and other supports already in play. 

Site Success Is a Zone Accountability

Wave 2 sites do not work alone. They are surrounded by groups already using a stable and strong Connect Care CIS, sites that help shoulder launch burdens. Readiness includes zonal redirection and other supports integrated with pandemic emergency response planning. The time is right.

Weekend Launch

A weekend launch date is best because there are minimal ambulatory appointments or elective surgeries, and the inpatient census is easier to contain. Furthermore, fewer diagnostic tests are scheduled and inter-facility transfers for procedures are limited. 

Safety Valve

Connect Care has proven its value at our Wave 1 sites over the last year, where it has stabilized and continually improved. Wave 2 sites will benefit from greater system maturity, and they will benefit even more from the accumulated experience of a large population of proficient users. 

We have great confidence in the leadership, staff and clinicians at all sites that will be implementing Connect Care, and expect that these will return to near-normal throughput sooner than imagined. 

That said, go-no-go decisions are revisited frequently... right up to the final launch hour. Wave 2 clinicians can trust that their CIS benefit/risk balance is a matter of constant, vigilant attention. Be sure to keep your leaders updated with any new developments or concerns.


2020-10-20

Connect Care Wave 2 is On

 From Francois Belanger and Sean Chilton...


In just under one week, we will reach another very important milestone in healthcare in Alberta: Wave 2 of Connect Care is set to launch at 5:00 a.m. on October 24 in the Edmonton Zone. We know that you have all been involved in months and even years of preparation to bring us to this point on the Connect Care journey.
 
Our patients have been our focus every step of the way. Connect Care will transform how patient information flows between patients and their healthcare providers, eventually creating a central access point for current and accurate patient information across AHS. The whole healthcare team, including patients, will have the best possible information throughout their care journey.
 
We’ve prepared a video message to thank Wave 2 teams for all you have done at your sites and programs to get ready to launch. You are changing healthcare for Albertans and you should be proud of all you have accomplished, even before we launch.
 


We know that with increased pressure from the pandemic and our ongoing daily work challenges, this has been an intense process. We also know that launching will result in new issues that we will need to work through. We are prepared for this and have ensured that throughout the launch period, Wave 2 teams will have resources and supports available in-person and virtually.
 
We also want to share a documentary video about our Wave 1 launch, which happened almost one year ago. The video captured the experience of the actual launch, as well as a look at the months after Connect Care was put in place. It will give you a sense of the challenges and successes that are part of this massive undertaking. Thank you to our Wave 1 teams for paving the way.
 
If you have questions, or need support, please visit Connect Care launch support – there are resources there to help you.
 
Once again, we want to thank everyone, and especially our Connect Care teams, for your commitment to healthcare in this province. Thank you for your collaboration and support of one another. Thank you for your amazing work to make Connect Care a reality in Wave 2.
 
The countdown is on!
 
Dr. Francois Belanger
Chief Medical Officer
Executive Co-sponsor of Connect Care
 
Sean Chilton
Vice President Health Professions and Practice and Information Technology
Executive Co-sponsor of Connect Care

2020-10-19

Connect Care - A Year In

Alberta Health Services (AHS) continues to "Connect Care" for patients and families through a continuum of care clinical information system enabling better health powered by information.

The following documentary shares highlights from Connect Care's first launch, November 3, 2019, at Wave 1 sites about a year ago:


Even with a pandemic surge, we are stronger moving into our second wave launch. Good to remember where we've been!

2020-10-16

Connect Care Wave 2 Launch - Panel Discussion

Alberta Health Services (AHS) continues to "Connect Care" for patients and families through a continuum of care clinical information system enabling better health powered by information.

This "Conversations with Yiu" video discusses preparations and readiness for the second Connect Care launch wave:


Panelists include:

  • Heather Durstling, Executive Director, Suburban Hospitals Edmonton Zone
  • Judith Hockney, Senior Operating Officer, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Lois Hole Hospital for Women and Sturgeon Community Hospitals
  • Barb Kathol, Senior Program Officer, Connect Care
  • Stuart Rosser, Interim Chief Medical Information Officer

Clinical Inquiry Cases - Grand Rounds Oct 23, 2020

Connect Care Clinical Inquiry Clinics, now Clinical Inquiry Cases, explore user-submitted data report and visualization needs for match to in-system self-serve inquiry tools. The case analysis is shared, and participants can adapt resulting templates to their needs. The first "clinics" were offered as scheduled sessions, then continued as case consultations posted online via a clinical inquiry blog theme

Part of the clinical inquiry support initiative will be a medical grand rounds session October 23, 2020 from 0800-0900. All Edmonton Zone department of medicine members receive email invitations. Others who may want to join the Zoom session can request registration.

  • Title: Connecting Care with Inquiry
  • Time: October 23, 2020, 0800-0900
  • Venue: Zoom by invitation and registration
  • Objectives:
    • Recognize how the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) can support clinical improvement.
    • Appreciate how the Clinical Information Sharing Approach (CISA) promotes CIS-enabled inquiry.
    • Consider how in-system clinical inquiry supports and services can facilitate personal and group improvement projects.
We continue to welcome suggestions for future inquiry case consultations:

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (... ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. The pace of communications has picked up with the Wave 2 launch soon upon us, so we post more frequently about recent additions to this blog and its various channels:

2020-10-15

Trillium Joins the Canadian Epic Family

We've previously posted about the growing number of Canadian health care enterprises adopting the Epic Systems Corporation software at the core of the Connect Care clinical information system. 

We've also appreciated a mutual share-and-support culture within the Canadian Epic collaborative, and the larger world-wide community. AHS learns from the guidance, tools (e.g., order sets) and processes of others and we energetically share-forward our assets and learnings.

Trillium Health Partners went live with their Epic-based system on October 10. We congratulate them and welcome them to the collaborative!

2020-10-14

Connect Care Trainer Recognized for Mentorship

A big congratulations to Dr. Vanessa Maclean, Physician Design Lead and trainer extraordinaire for the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) training program, who has won the distinguished May Cohen Award for Women Mentors. Vanessa's accomplishments were recognized in last week's message to all AHS staff.

From Dr. Verna Yiu, AHS President and CEO, and Dr. Laura McDougall, AHS Senior Medical Officer of Health:


Former South Zone Medical Director Recognized for Mentoring

We’d like to congratulate longtime Lethbridge physician Dr. Vanessa Maclean - a former medical director in the South Zone of Alberta Health Services - for receiving the May Cohen Award for Women Mentors. The award is presented to a female physician and Canadian Medical Association member who has demonstrated outstanding mentoring. 
 
Starting as a family physician in Lethbridge in 1987, she later became an emergency department doctor, then medical director for the zone. Dr. Maclean retired from that position in 2016 but remains active in the medical community. 
 
As medical director, she kept an eye out for promising young physicians with big ideas, making sure they had a chance to be heard, and made herself available when they needed advice or support. In 2017, she conducted a review of the experience of female physician leaders in Alberta; it found women are under-represented in leadership positions in healthcare and encounter barriers to achieving those positions.
 
Today, Dr. Maclean’s work focuses primarily on the establishment of Connect Care, and she is still actively mentoring women and other emerging leaders.


All Prescriber Bulletin - In Basket Notifications re Cancelled Tests

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

New In Basket Messages - Test Cancellations

Starting October 13, 2020, Connect Care prescribers receive In Basket notifications when some laboratory tests are cancelled; in both inpatient and outpatient care contexts. Cancellation notifications are suppressed when not clinically significant, as might happen when duplicate orders are detected and managed. Notifications are sent when testing cannot be performed because the needed specimen cannot be collected, the collected specimen is inadequate to purpose, or the test request is declined in compliance with guidelines.

Cancellation messages include links to the relevant patient chart and encounter, as well as details of the affected prescriber order.

2020-10-13

All Prescriber Bulletin - New Inter-Facility Transfer Navigator

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

New Inter-facility Transfer Navigator

A new consolidated Inter-Facility Transfer (IFT) navigator appears in Connect Care starting October 13, 2020. This addresses concerns of both sending and receiving sites, improving the quality of communication and documentation. It will also be easier for transferring and receiving prescribers.

The prior "IFT to Connect Care Site" and "IFT to Non-Connect Care Site" navigators are combined to a single IFT navigator. This provides a consistent experience while guiding providers about the specific orders documentation required for different transfer scenarios. In particular, medication reconciliation and recommended orders are summarized in a standardized IFT Note for receiving non-Connect Care sites.

The new navigator has embedded instructions. Additional guidance is in the following Tips and Demos, which should be referred to the first few times that a prescriber uses the new IFT workflow:

2020-10-12

Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Change of Pace

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

Connect Care "Clinical Inquiry Clinics" explore user-submitted cases for match to in-system tools. Resources are provided, casework is shared, and participants can adapt resulting templates to their needs. The first three clinics were offered during at noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. These times have not proved practical for interested clinicians.

The "Clinics" will change to "Consultations". Instead of scheduled sessions, we will consider cases submitted through an online intake form. Consultations are accepted if available Connect Care tools can be used to advantage with available data. The work-up, interventions and outcomes are shared, together with templates and crib-sheets, to allow adaptation to similar needs experienced by others.

2020-10-09

Connect Care Champions

Thrilled to see one of the CMIO medical informatics education leads recognized for outstanding accomplishment!

2020-10-08

Clinical Inquiry Case #3 - Recordings - Clinical Productivity

Those who cannot make the Connect Care Inquiry Clinics 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. 

2020-10-07

MyAHS Connect (Patient Portal) Virtual Office Hours

We've previously posted about why this is the right time to promote Connect Care's patient portal, MyAHS Connect.

Although it is possible for physicians to initiate the patient activation process, it is bests for team members to collaborate taking advantage of every clinic or ER visit and every hospitalization. 

Clinics and wards working to improve patient participation in care can take advantage of virtual office hours focusing on portal activation processes:

Resources are available to help with clinic and team preparations, with current topics:
  • Activation workflows
  • Staff and provider roles in activation
  • Patient tasks and responsibilities
  • Proxy access processes

2020-10-04

Connect Care Wave 3 Training Registration... NOW

Registration is now open for training of Wave 3 physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical assistants and other prescribers who are new to Connect Care and anticipating launch, February 27, 2021.

Email notifications have gone out from Calgary Zone and North Zone Medical Affairs to all affected physicians. Separate notifications have gone out from Advanced Practice Nursing. Prescribers are invited to register for training with instructions about how to do this through MyLearningLink  (mylearninglink.ahs.ca).

Prescriber training is offered in three modes:
  • In-classroom training (COVID prevention precautions in place)
  • Virtual training (via Zoom)
  • Online training through independent learning modules
The best mix is determined for each trainee, covering key Connect Care skills for the user's clinical context.  Super Users will fan out to assist with training while building relationships with the user groups they will support at launch.

Prescribers who expect but have not received a training invitation should contact:
For more information about Medical Staff training, please visit:

2020-10-03

Clinical Inquiry Clinics - Case #3: Professional Productivity

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 Thursdays at noon. We no longer support the Tuesday session as this did not fit well with participant schedules:
  • Thursday noon (12:00-13:00)
The third clinic is scheduled for October 8, 2020. This week's cases explore how to use Reporting Workbench ('My Reports') to generate lists reflecting clinical productivity. This sort of information can help inform physician annual reporting.