2021-05-12

Mobility Apps Outage - Thursday May 13, 2021, 00:30-04:30

As previously posted, a scheduled upgrade to the Connect Care Mobility apps (Haiku, Canto, Limerick) will occur Thursday May 13, 2021, between 00:30-04:30, in preparation for a general Connect Care upgrade occurring in June. No other Connect Care systems will be affected during this outage, and Hyperspace and other Connect Care systems can be used as usual. 

Users may see an action request to allow the upgrade for each affected mobile device, based on device type. Failure to accept the upgrade will require a manual upgrade before the June Connect Care upgrade in order for the mobility apps to continue interacting with Connect Care servers.

  • iOS, iPadOS and watchOS devices: 
    • Once the mobile app upgrade window begins (00:30 on May 13), iOS devices will get a prompt to upgrade. For devices powered off during the window, iOS devices will receive the prompt to upgrade shortly after power on. 
    • Please accept this prompt to continue to use the Connect Care mobility with the coming June upgrade. 
  • Android devices: Users may need to upgrade the apps manually by re-selecting from the from the Workspace One (vmware airwatch) Catalog.

The PowerMic Mobile dictation application for Dragon Medical One is not affected by these updates. 

In case of difficulties, please contact the AHS Service Desk (1-877-311-4300).

2021-05-02

Mobility Apps Upgrade (May 13, 2021)

On Thursday May 13, 2021, between 00:30-04:30, the Connect Care Mobility apps (Haiku, Canto, Limerick) will be upgraded in preparation for a general Connect Care upgrade occurring in June. Users may see an action request to allow the upgrade for each affected mobile device, based on device type. Failure to accept the upgrade will require a manual upgrade before the June Connect Care upgrade in order for the mobility apps to continue interacting with Connect Care servers.

  • iOS, iPadOS and watchOS devices: 
    • Once the mobile app upgrade window begins (00:30 on May 13), iOS devices will get a prompt to upgrade. For devices powered off during the window, iOS devices will receive the prompt to upgrade shortly after power on. 
    • Please accept this prompt to continue to use the Connect Care mobility with the coming June upgrade. 
  • Android devices: Users may need to upgrade the apps manually by re-selecting from the from the Workspace One (vmware airwatch) Catalog.

The PowerMic Mobile dictation application for Dragon Medical One is not affected by these updates. 

In case of difficulties, please contact the AHS Service Desk (1-877-311-4300).

2021-05-01

Connect Care Mobility Apps Need Device Operating System Updates

Most of us keep our mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, watches) in sync with the latest operating system updates. Among other things, this ensures that important security patches are in place to protect the device from intrusion. While Connect Care mobility applications (Haiku, Canto, Limerick) have robust app security, it is important that they work with safe operating systems.

A Connect Care mobility update is anticipated May 13, 2021. The fresh instances of Canto (for iPads), Limerick (for Apple Watches) and the iOS (Apple) version of Haiku will require recent versions of iOS/iPadOS (13.0 or later) and watchOS (version 6.0 or later). Those who keep up with updates have no worries, as the current version of iOS is 14.5 and watchOS is 7.4.

We recommend taking this opportunity to check the update status of any mobile device used for Haiku, Canto or Limerick.  Perform any possible updates before May 13.

There are some older devices that cannot support iOS/iPadOS 13 or later and so will not work with Connect Care mobility apps.

2021-04-29

Printing Requisitions in a Paperless Clinical Information System?

One of Connect Care's expected benefits is freedom from paper; and all the associated supply, mail, fax and storage costs. We've made progress! Already by Wave 3, paper-related expenses are dramatically reduced.

Connect Care clinicians may wonder why outpatient laboratory requisitions are printed when the Connect Care clinical information system supports both the clinician requesting a test and the laboratory performing the test.

In time, we hope to dispense with printed lab reqs altogether. However, until all sites have transitioned to  Connect Care, the following considerations can help prescribers ordering outpatient laboratory tests:

  • Labs not using Connect Care
    • Patients can present to any laboratory in Alberta to have samples drawn and tests performed. Some labs may currently use the Connect Care CIS while others may not. 
    • Printed reqs provided to outpatients can be considered a protective for patient choice until all labs use Connect Care.
  • Labs using Connect Care
    • If a patient presents to a laboratory collection site already using the Connect Care CIS, a printed requisition for Connect Care ordered tests is not absolutely necessary. 
    • With the patient's identity confirmed with government issued identification, laboratory staff can check Connect Care for open laboratory test orders.
    • A printed requisition can still be useful because it confirms patient awareness of the tests to be performed at a specific time (note that patients using MyAHS Connect see pending tests in a section called "Upcoming Tests and Procedures").

2021-04-28

Attaching and Sharing Clinical Objects via Connect Care Charts

The Connect Care one-patient-one-record-one-system goal will be achieved when all clinicians participating in a patient's care have access to the same record of care. Until then, clinicians may need to attach external "objects" (e.g., documents, images, scans) from external systems to the Connect Care chart. These, as well as images of clinical findings, can be selected for the attention of other users when linked to communications (In Basket or Secure Chat).

Connect Care users seek tips about how to capture and attach documents or media, then share with colleagues. We have updated relevant sections of the Manual and its links:

2021-04-27

Growing Awareness and Attention for "Mixed-Context" Prescribers

Prescribers who work where the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) is the record of care and also work in at least one setting where the CIS is not the record of care (inside or outside of AHS facilities supported by paper or electronic medical records) are said to be working in a "mixed context". Connect Care's Wave 3 launch has brought more mixed-context providers to the CIS, with impacts on how results or reports ("results") may route to their non-Connect Care contexts. 

A detailed explanation of changes to result routing (lab and DI results) is available in Result Routing for Mixed-Context Prescribers. Additional resources related to result routing are available in the Clinician Manual sections on Mixed Contexts and Results Management

Routing of reports and communications (consultations, letters, etc.) is also impacted. Regardless of where a patient is seen (Connect Care or non-Connect Care context), some messages must route to the CIS In Basket for all Connect Care users. This lowers the risk of a privacy breach and allows reports to be correctly directed to the correct provider, even when the report does not contain information identifying a precise routing destination. 

All users with Connect Care CIS access will need to regularly monitor their In Basket for tasks, communications, results or reports that pertain to their work within Connect Care contexts, as well as for the same related to patients seen where Connect Care is not the record of care. Connect Care can be personalized to support email alerts, out of contact and other functions to help prescribers know when new In Basket content is ready for review, or to delegate some In Basket tasks to others (see Manual: Mixed Contexts).

Result and/or report routing to In Basket may not be ideal for some providers. A working group is working on further solutions to improve the routing of important messages and reports to a prescriber's preferred system. Additionally, new mitigations for mixed-context prescribers and their clinics are being created.  

In Basket is a core function of Connect Care. If a prescriber uses Connect Care in any capacity, regular In Basket review and management is required. 

2021-04-26

Digital Dictation Optimization Sessions

Please join the digital dictation team to explore advanced Dragon Medical One functions that are available in Connect Care. 

These Zoom-delivered optimization sessions will include:

  • Step-by-step commands
  • Autotext vs. SmartPhrases
  • Manage vocabulary 
  • Anchor and release speech focus
  • Bring your questions and let us know what you’d like help with!

To register for a session on one of the dates below, click the relevant link:

More information:

2021-04-25

Using RAAPID for Interfacility Transfers

Connect Care supports for the “Referral, Access, Advice, Placement, Information & Destination" (RAAPID) service facilitate prescriber actions for patients who may need transfer between sites or consultative advice about care at a current site. 

Use of RAAPID to coordinate interfacility transfers (IFTs) is not mandatory, but use of Connect Care functions is strongly encouraged as it helps to automate workflows and increase visibility for the transfers within the system. Specific circumstances under which prescribers should consider using RAAPID-specific workflows include:

  • Transfers to a higher level of care
    Consultation with a potentially receiving consultant is initiated with a RAAPID call. 
  • Transfers to a lower level of care
    Arrangements are facilitated by a "RAAPID Repatriation" order entered into Connect Care. 
  • Transfers for emergency care
    All ED to ED transfers must involve RAAPID. 

The benefits of using Connect Care with RAAPID include:

  • A pending admission at the receiving site is automatically generated, setting up the patient for immediate arrival and access to the Connect Care chart. 
  • RAAPID can send documents to involved providers, allowing for information transfer between care locations and seamless patient transitions.
  • RAAPID can document the patient’s transportation needs and arrangements (i.e., EMS) together with estimated arrival time, allowing the receiving site to better prepare.
  • From the RAAPID Patient Lists in Connect Care, all clinicians (e.g., Bed Planning, Managers, Charge Nurses) can track the progress details of a patient transfer, including physician acceptance, bed availability and patient appropriateness at/for the receiving site.

Further information about IFT workflows using RAAPID is available in the Clinician Manual.

2021-04-24

Results Management for Emergency Departments

A number of prescribers spend at least some time contributing to emergency department (ED) services, where department-specific test result routing considerations may apply. These are summarized in a new section of the Connect Care Clinician Manual, with links to practical details in process and tip documents.

2021-04-22

COVID-19 and Connect Care - Testing for VITT

Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) is an extraordinarily rare hematologic complication associated with COVID-19 vaccination. Symptoms may include persistent and severe headache, focal neurological findings, seizures, blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, swelling and redness in a limb or pallor and coldness in a limb. Onset may occur between 4-28 days after immunization (first or second vaccine). Laboratory findings may include thrombocytopenia, elevated D-dimer or imaging evidence of thrombosis.

In general, suspected VITT should be referred to a consulting Hematologist or Thrombosis physician who will oversee collection of required specimens in appropriate tubes, complete special laboratory requisitions and communicate with relevant reference laboratories. The consultant will take care of Connect Care orders (or will give the requesting physician specific instructions about which tests to order and how). 

In sum, the important action for Connect Care prescribers is to order a Hematology consult and speak directly with the consultant.

2021-04-21

All Prescriber Bulletin - COVID-19 Vaccination Records

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

Documenting COVID-19 Immunizations in Connect Care

We've previously posted about how provincial immunization information systems interface to Connect Care, where the health record includes a patient's immunization history. 

There can be gaps. Patients may receive vaccinations at clinics, offices or other provinces that do not send data to Alberta's provincial records. In addition, if Connect Care does not yet have an order for a new vaccine (as is the case for COVID-19 for a period of time), documentation is not automatic.

Prescribers can use a simple manual process to record past patient vaccinations that have not been captured in Connect Care (be careful to work from an official record of administration, select the correct COVID-19 vaccine type, and note that in-hospital vaccination events will be independently recorded by vaccination staff):

2021-04-20

Connect Care Mobility - Managing Expectations

Connect Care mobility continues to prove very popular with prescribers. As with Waves 1 and 2, uptake of speech recognition (Dragon Medical One for in-system dictation) has been almost instantaneous in Wave 3. Mobile applications that provide access to the health record (Haiku for smartphones and Canto for iPads) have also enjoyed rapid adoption.

While the enthusiasm is great, a bit of expectation management might be timely. 

We've posted some updates to the Manual, FAQs and Tips to remind about care needed when prescribers with multiple jobs use mobile apps, limits to the number of lab results accessible via mobile apps, and important differences between what the iOS and Android versions of Haiku are capable of:

2021-04-19

Connect Care's Wave 1 Wins Health Quality Award

We are pleased to learn that Connect Care’s Wave 1 Implementation is the 2021 recipient of the Canadian College of Health Leaders’ 3M Health Care Quality Team Awards (Across A Health System). 

Connect Care had a successful first launch on November 3, 2019 at sites including the University of Alberta Hospital (UAH), Stollery Children’s Hospital, Kaye Edmonton Clinic, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, over 500 outpatient clinics across Edmonton Zone, the East Edmonton Health Centre, pharmacy, lab and diagnostic imaging at UAH and the Cross Cancer Institute and DynaLIFE sites across Alberta.

This award recognizes the effort and dedication of the more than 22,000 frontline staff, including 3,000 physicians, who paved the way for Connect Care’s continuing success. 

2021-04-18

Virtual Drop-in Centre Hours

With the first full week of Connect Care at the Wave 3 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 Monday, April 19, 2021, the Virtual Drop-in Centre will be open 07:30-23:00. 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.

2021-04-17

All Prescriber Bulletin - Med Order Start Times

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

Take note of Medication Order Start Times

If an inpatient medication order is entered without an explicit start time, the default (standardized medication administration time, SMAT) can lead to unintended first dose timing, and possibly additional dose administration. 

The default when ordering an ongoing medication (e.g., furosemide 40 mg po daily) is for "As Scheduled" dose timing, which results in the first dose being given at a default time (e.g., 08:00, depending upon the medication). This works well most of the time. However, if an independent dose is ordered and given just before the continuing medication order, the clinician may want to explicitly set the "Starting" time to avoid two doses close together. This, of course, depends on intent.


Universal best practice: Take note of the starting time and the resulting anticipated initial schedule of dose times to confirm that this fits clinical need. 

2021-04-16

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (...ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. Recent additions to this blog and its various channels:

2021-04-15

Admitting, Attending or Authorizing?

As Connect Care spreads, inpatient services new to digital workflows adapt processes for ensuring that provider-patient attachments are clear, current and validated. Distinctions between new uses of "admitting", "authorizing", "attending" and other names for accountable prescribers may not be obvious. 

The primary prescriber attachment for inpatients is the "Attending" prescriber (synonymous with "Most Responsible Healthcare Provider"). Each facility will need to firm-up processes for ensuring that this attending designation is updated as clinicians handover responsibilities from on-call, cross-coverage or rotation assignments. 

Support staff usually do this when patients move to and from wards. Prescribers participate by keeping a close eye on their patient and team patient lists, and being ready to adjust attending accountabilities as needed.

Tickets, Tickets, Tickets!

The Wave 3 launch has gone well, credit to the clinicians, leaders, trainers, Super Users and many others who have worked so hard to prepare.

Launch success is less about absence of problems and more about rapid attention to problems. In this, Wave 3 is doing extraordinarily well. Most issues are resolved quickly. Many stimulate improvements that benefit entire Connect Care community.

What's left are a few tricky problems. These are context-dependent. When a specific print fails, for example, the fault can be device-specific or, sometimes, an intersect of device, department, function and location.

Cleaning up tricky problems is a group effort. Our technical specialists need users to:

2021-04-14

All Prescriber Bulletin - Tap Out or Log Off

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

Tap out or log off!

Some computer workstations are enabled for Tap-n-Go logons in high-flow settings. This is a great convenience because prescribers can sign-on to a workstation and get to Connect Care quickly by tapping an enabled ID card. 

Problems arise when prescribers do not "tap-out" upon leaving the workstation. Even if Connect Care is logged out, this can leave Windows open to the prescriber's session and expose that session to misuse by others. Tapping-in elsewhere else does not tap-out the prior workstation.

Most users do not notice this challenge because workstations in other clinical settings are often configured such that users only log on to Connect Care, with the Windows session automatically taken care of. 

Universal best practice: If you log on to Windows (keyboard, tap card, biometrics, or any other method) with a personal account, be sure to log off before leaving the device. 

Wave 3 Progress - A Great Start!

The Connect Care Wave 3 launch continues to progress well after a remarkably smooth and collaborative cutover. Most early problems are resolved and a few ongoing issues are explored by teams working to fine tune some of the more complex workflows.

Twice-daily physician huddles continue to triage any prescriber issues identified to Super Users, Medical Informatics Leads or the ticketing process. Rapid-response clinical system design and other task groups receive and work on issues during the day. Highlights of what is being worked on appear in a daily prescriber Support Update

Learning curves remain steep in the first week. New users are encouraged to continue to consult with Super Users, check the Connect Care Manual, and identify where new supports or clarifications could help (cmio-manual@ahs.ca). In addition, daily blog postings focus on the more common questions and challenges that we hear about:

Renewed thanks to all Wave 3 teams for their incredible work and resourcefulness through the launch period!

Connect Care to Netcare - Document Sharing

The Alberta Netcare Portal provides a cradle-to-grave, read-only view of patients' key health information for authorized providers. This electronic health record (EHR) includes summative documents shared from the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS). 

Summative documents are high-value clinical notes that review diverse information sources and interpret these at milestones. Included are admission history and physicals, discharge summaries, consultation reports (inpatient and outpatient), operative reports, transfer summaries and emergency department reports. 

All Connect Care inpatient summative documents are copied to Netcare. Connect Care outpatient consultation letters are also copied to Netcare if the authoring prescriber selects a Netcare-compatible template. Progress notes (which depend upon the rest of the chart for context) are not shared with Netcare.

When generating an outpatient communication -- such as a letter to the referring physician or a report about an outpatient procedure -- the selected letter "template" determines whether the report will go to Netcare or not. Be sure to pick a template that includes "Netcare" in its name.

2021-04-13

Prescriber Ordering Norms - Are Verbal Orders Allowed?

Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) refers to the process of a medical prescriber entering orders electronically via a digital health record. 

CPOE involves much more than simply transcribing an order. The ordering process activates decision supports, patient safety protections and other aids to quality improvement. With a little practice, the CPOE process can also be much faster than written or verbal equivalents, as favourites, panels, personalizations and other automations come into play. In addition, Connect Care mobile apps make order entry immediately accessible from tablets and smartphones, any time, anywhere.  

It is a Minimum Use expectation for all prescribers that all tests, interventions and medications that can be ordered in Connect Care are ordered in Connect Care. Compliance is tracked in prescriber performance metrics. 

Very few exceptions to CPOE are acceptable, as summarized in Connect Care Ordering Norms.

Connect Care Communication Norms

Communication happens when one person or group relays information to another person or group, whereas documentation happens when information is managed to serve as a record.

Connect Care supports a wide range of communication tools, including voice, facsimile, commenting and secure messaging. Clinicians may wonder which tool to use for different communication needs, and how to use each to advantage.

Communication Norms are about what Connect Care users expect of one another for effective, efficient, safe and respectful information sharing within and between groups. Healthcare teams are encouraged to develop their own "communication compacts", clarifying how they will use different tools for different purposes. 

For example:
  • Chart "Sticky Note to Most Responsible Provider" can function like a "Doctor's To-Do clipboard" listing things to take care of on rounds. 
  • Secure messaging can be used for non-urgent reminders, such as the place and time of an upcoming team conference, that can be attended to within the next half-day (or so).
Urgent clinical communications should always be person-to-person, not relying on tools like sticky notes, secure messaging or In Basket.

2021-04-12

Improving Issue Reports and Help Desk Interactions

Problem reports (help.connect-care.ca "tickets") have been well within expectations so far with the Wave 3 launch. Of course, more tickets are expected as clinical volumes ramp up with more outpatient activity. The good news is that tickets are resolved quickly, with critical tickets resolved within minutes to hours.

Helpdesk tickets route most efficiently when the user provides clear information at the right level of detail. See our tips for impactful issue reports:

2021-04-11

Problem Power - A New Tips Series

Problem List management can seem daunting to new (and established!) clinicians. With a little effort, however, problem management can dramatically improve the Connect Care user experience, while significantly reducing personal and shared information burdens.

In tandem with the Wave 3 launch, a new Connect Care tips series will post daily, emphasizing little things that can have a big impact on the health record.

Just-in-Time Learning!

Our new Wave 3 Connect Care prescribers are on the steeper part of their learning curve. Help is available!

A powerful way to reinforce basic training, while busy with clinical work, is to consider one or two high-impact tips per day. To that end, we are posting daily "tippies" (tippy.connect-care.ca) on the Connect Care Tips channel (tips.connect-care.ca), starting with the simplest but most impactful suggestions. We'll progress to more advanced tips with time. 

The easiest way to follow these postings is to subscribe to the blog channel. A new emailed tip will arrive daily.

Also consider subscribing to both the FAQ (questions.connect-care.ca) and the Support (support.connect-care.ca) channels. We answer common questions on the former and provide important news about fixes and enhancements on the latter. 

2021-04-10

All User Bulletin - Blood Product Information Services Restored

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

Blood Product Ordering Interface Restored

WellSky transfusion information systems and interfaces are restored to normal functions. Downtime procedures for blood product ordering are no longer required.

Prescriber Drop-In Centre Moving as of Sunday, April 11

As of Sunday morning, April 11, the in-person Drop-In Centre at the Grande Prairie Queen Elizabeth II Hospital is being moved to a more convenient location: room 2509-2510 (previously called 2-2 North), located just outside the physicians' lounge.

The Drop-In Centre will remain in this new location for the remainder of the scheduled launch support, but check the Launch Supports page for any further updates.

Wave 3: We are GO!

All Connect Care systems activated on time at 05:00! Interfaces to the WellSky blood product information system are expected to fully activate soon.

Today Connect Care welcomes many North Zone colleagues including those working in Peace Country Health Region, Fort Vermilion, High Level, La Crete and the many participating facilities and clinics. The first few days will be intense, but with lots of help at hand we are confident that progress will be fast. Cutover activities have been performed extraordinarily well... a great start.

Physicians, please make use of the drop-in centre and other launch supports (launchhelp.connect-care.ca). 

A welcome from our CEO:

All User Bulletin - Blood Product Ordering

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

Downtime Procedures for Blood Product Ordering

There was a scheduled outage for the WellSky Transfusion System as part of the Connect Care Wave 3 launch preparations earlier this morning (April 10, 2021). The transfusion information system is not yet restored.

This outage affects only the transfusion functions for Connect Care. The main impact for prescribers is that requests for blood products require paper process. Blood product downtime procedures should continued to be followed until the problem is resolved:

2021-04-09

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (...ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. Recent additions to this blog and its various channels:

Countdown Checklist W3 L-00: Drop In

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Drop In
This ends our countdown checklist, with conversion of old to new charts well underway today and tomorrow. We hope all goes well Saturday at 05:00 when the new charts become the official record of care!

Of course that's only the start. We'll have a working system but we'll need to grow it, and grow with it, to fulfill its potential.
Informatics specialists, Super Users and physician informatics leads are eager to help. Reach out.

2021-04-08

Wave 3 Launch Support: Virtual Health Update

AHS Virtual Health Services has published a newsletter with important information for Connect Care Wave 3 clinicians and staff:

Enhancements to Isolation Discontinuation Orders for COVID-19

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

Discontinuation of Isolation Orders

Patients can be placed on contact and/or droplet and/or airborne precautions by means of an "Initiate Isolation" order. A different order is required to remove isolation precautions already in place. 

Starting April 9, 2021, “Discontinue Isolation” orders have some new properties that reflect COVID-19 policies. These illustrate how just-in-time instruction, guidance and documentation can be supported with an integrated workflow. 

The discontinue isolation order is unchanged for most exposures. If the order relates to COVID-19 risks, exposure or disease, then the order must be supplemented with documentation of compliance with COVID-19 protocols. This is accomplished with a linked note, automatically created from within the discontinue isolation order:

Countdown Checklist W3 L-01: Share and Learn

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Share and Learn
We are down to the final few days. Any preparations that could be, have been. Now we must turn to one another in a spirit of collaboration.

Super Users are widely distributed. Look for yellow and orange lanyards (prescriber supports; pink caps in the OR). Don't struggle. Ask for help.
Super Users use social media to rapidly share learnings so they can be widely applied... ask them for help. They can also way-find when they are unable to provide immediate help themselves.

Connect Care WellSky (Transfusion System) Scheduled Outage - Friday April 9, 2021, 23:00-03:30 Saturday April 10, 2021

Components in the Connect Care clinical information system need periodic maintenance. There will be a scheduled outage for the WellSky Transfusion System (in preparation for Connect Care Wave 3) starting at 23:00 Friday April 9, 2021, with services resuming by 03:30 Saturday morning. 

This outage affects only the transfusion functions for Connect Care. Blood product downtime procedures should be followed:

2021-04-07

Countdown Checklist W3 L-02: You've Got This!

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • You've Got This -- And We've Got Your Back
Physicians, nurse practitioners and other prescribers have dedicated time and energy to preparing for the Wave 3 launch of Connect Care. You've got this! 
  • There are approximately 279 CMIO end users that are part of Wave 3: physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical assistants, physician assistants, dentists, residents, medical learners, and nurse practitioner students.
  • 68 CMIO Super Users are deployed for at-the-elbow support totalling over 4,500 hours of scheduled availability. 
  • 152 hours of on-site drop-in in Grande Prairie and over 627 hours of virtual drop-in support is provided for prescribers during the pre- and post-launch period.
Watch for Connect Care posters in Wave 3 sites, prescriber updates, and the launch support pages in the Manual.

Connect Care Wave 3 Launches April 10, 2021

Connect Care's third wave launches in just a few days, primarily in North Zone areas. Systematic preparations are already a great accomplishment. Capable teams will continue to work hard to support all stakeholders this coming weekend.

2021-04-06

Countdown Checklist W3 L-03: Catch Up Dictations

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Dictate any pre-launch admission or transfer notes
Wave 3 inpatient facilities are supported for dictation of admission histories, transfer notes,  consultation reports and discharge summaries. This is done through the provincial eScription service, with products appearing in the Netcare electronic health record. These dictations will also be available to refer to in Connect Care when it launches.

Succinct initial progress notes  become possible in Connect Care if they can refer to an existing digital admission or transfer record and simply note any changes since. The same applies for Consults performed in the coming week for patients expected to still be in-hospital post-launch.
  • Take advantage of eScription to facilitate easier Connect Care cutover next weekend!

2021-04-05

All User Bulletin - Dose Range Medication Orders

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

Dosing Ranges and Connect Care

When prescribers order a single scheduled medication with ranged dosing, system restrictions (such orders cannot work with decision supports) cause delays as extra pharmacist resources are required to interpret the prescriber's intent. 

With rare exceptions, dose range requests should be handled through two separate (but linked) orders. The first sets a regular baseline dose at consistent intervals. The second specifies an as-needed (PRN) dose that can supplement the baseline, possibly at a different administration frequency. 

Countdown Checklist W3 L-04: Unburden as Possible

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Unburden
Current clinical services have limited ability to control patient census or clinical workloads. However, this is the time to make every effort to ease the launch by re-considering the following:
  • Do everything possible on inpatient services to expedite discharges and decrease occupancy. 
  • Consider rehabilitation or other community services outside Wave 3 sites that might be available for transitional transfer. 
  • Identify and flag complex continuing patients who may need more cutover attention during the pre-launch week. 
  • Ensure that any possible clinician reserves are mobilized, including sick roster backup and any other resources that can be leveraged to increase physician supports at launch.
  • Lighten ambulatory and surgical loads in any way possible for next week.
  • Above all, make sure that you and colleagues have the Connect Care access you need and are working in PRD this week to familiarize and personalize.

2021-04-04

Countdown Checklist W3 L-05: Buddy Up, Team Up

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Buddy-Up and Team-Up
Every clinical group will have members who like, and others who dislike, information management. This is a good time to recognize this reality and identify buddies for providers who may struggle.

There are valuable human resources embedded in Wave 3 sites and others flowing in from Zone sites already on Connect Care. Pre-socialize your Super Users, Medical Informatics Leads, Area Trainers and other specialty, ward or clinic informaticians. Create and share a launch contact list that fits your local group needs. Prescriber launch supports (launchhelp.connect-care.ca) link to site-specific pages listing good contacts to start with.

This is also a good time to consider how clinical information system adoption work can be divided and shared. Some personalization tasks, for example, can dramatically improve the user experience but take time to set up. Many can be initiated by a team member who understands the preferences of colleagues then shared for adoption by a larger group. 

Examples of allocatable personalization tasks are listed in the Connect Care Manual.

Consider devoting group, division, or other business meetings to identifying, and sharing, remaining team readiness tasks.

2021-04-03

Countdown Checklist W3 L-06: Grande Prairie Drop-In Centre

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Take advantage of the Prescriber Drop-in Centre
Scheduled drop-in help sessions are available at the Grande Prairie Queen Elizabeth II Hospital just before and for weeks post-launch. These are good for troubleshooting issues related to mobility, personal device, dictation, personalization and workflows, as well as login, role and access problems.

The schedule (including dates, times, and room) can be found in the Connect Care Manual. Note that locations and times can change. Late-breaking information about the drop-in centre will be posted in the Connect Care Manual (launchhelp.connect-care.ca).

Meditech Considerations for Connect Care Wave 3 Launch

As not all locations in the Peace Country Meditech Ring are going live in Wave 3, North Zone prescribers (both in Connect Care Wave 3 and those remaining on Meditech) may be affected at launch.

Meditech encounters (i.e., a case or visit in a pre-registered, waitlisted, scheduled or active state) converted to Connect Care will still appear in Meditech. They will be in either a discharged or open state.

Other important considerations for Wave 3 prescribers:

  • As previously posted, it is very important to complete and close legacy charts by April 9, 2021. 
  • After 05:00 on April 10, 2021, all charting should take place in Connect Care. 
  • After launch, Connect Care users can expect read-only access to Meditech records. Some users, previously identified by their leaders, will have continued read and write access. 
  • For North Zone prescribers who are not part of Wave 3 and are remaining on Meditech, orders should not be sent in Meditech to locations that have transitioned to Connect Care. Netcare can be checked when needing patient information for departments that have transitioned to Connect Care.
  • There will be a scheduled Meditech downtime for Northern Lights and Peace Country from April 9, 2021 23:30 to 05:00 April 10, 2021.

2021-04-02

Countdown Checklist W3 L-07: Confirm Remote Access

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Ensure that you have online REMOTE ACCESS
Remote access refers to any use of the clinical information system (CIS) outside of Alberta Health Services (AHS) networks ("intranet"). 

Will you need this? Some physicians rarely work out-of-AHS. Some will only remote access through mobility (Haiku, Canto) which is good enough for results review, communicating, ordering, billing and simple documentation. 

Many physicians need full Hyperspace externally. A security FOB is required, as explained in the Connect Care Manual. Existing Netcare FOBs are automatically set up for Connect Care and require no new action. For physicians needing remote Hyperspace, but do not currently have a FOB, apply now (note - the process is normally initiated by Zone Medical Affairs):
Physicians in Wave 3 are authorized for remote access by Zone Medical Affairs, who should be contacted for support (NZ.Privileging@ahs.ca).

On Other Channels...

Thank you for continuing to check (...ideally, subscribe to multiple channels; see instructions) the Connect Care Update blog for prescribers. Recent additions to this blog and its various channels:

2021-04-01

Improved Support for RAAPID Consultations

The Alberta Health Services "Referral, Access, Advice, Placement, Information & Destination" (RAAPID) service facilitates physician access to consulting services for patients who may need transfer between sites or additional advice about care at a current site. Typically, participating emergency and specialty physicians generate separate "Telephone" encounters to document their interactions through a RAAPID consultation.

RAAPID is now fully enabled by Connect Care. A new "Intake" encounter type supports RAAPID activities. This provides an easier workflow for consulting. 

The RAAPID encounter navigator streamlines documentation and communication throughout a patient transfer event, while also making the information easily accessible in any resulting inpatient encounter. Instructions are provided about how to handle any orders that may be required.

RAAPID workflows using the Intake encounters are explained in brief tip sheets:

Countdown Checklist W3 L-08: Support Cutover Activities

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Support Cutover Activities
Key for attendings and trainees anticipating Wave 3 inpatient and/or outpatient launch is work to make sure that essential information is ready for loading or linking into the clinical information system before launch... and that legacy systems are tidied up so that they can be retired. Related preparations include: 
  • General inpatient:
    Make sure that all dictations are complete and signed. Use dictation (eScription) for all admissions, transfers and consults between now and launch, if possible, so that transition notes at launch can refer to recent documentation in Netcare.
  • Surgical inpatient:
    Make sure that work is underway to enter upcoming surgical cases into Connect Care (see resources).
  • Outpatient:
    Make sure that all clinic documentation is complete, signed and routed, while also taking care to close open charts in any legacy systems.
  • Complex patients:
    Consider pre-launch problem list documentation to support easy transition note generation at launch.
Key resources:

2021-03-31

Countdown Checklist W3 L-09: Complete Login Lab

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Complete CMIO Login Lab
It is essential that all Wave 3 prescribers confirm access to the AHS Network (insite.ahs.ca), to the Unified Access Portal (myapps.ahs.ca) and to Production (PRD) Connect Care.

In addition, all prescribers are required to complete a "CMIO Login Lab" found within Connect Care Hyperspace. This checks that the right tools are assigned to the user in the right way. 

Step-by-step instructions are provided in a tip:

2021-03-30

Countdown Checklist W3 L-10: Identify Launch Supports

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Identify Launch Supports
This is a good time to check that you and your colleagues know who the Super Users, Medical Informatics Leads or other peer-resources are for your clinical site, group, area or clinic. They can facilitate pre-launch personalization activities. They will be present and a great resource during the weeks around launch. 

Clinical groups may plan for their own start and end-of-day check-ins to flag issues to forward to twice daily launch support meetings.

Note where User Supports are described in the Connect Care Manual. This information is frequently updated with specifics about how to find and use in-person, online and telephone supports for help with Connect Care on-boarding, including the daily Super User schedule and details about the Wave 3 Virtual Drop-in Centre and the Grande Prairie in-person drop-in centre.

2021-03-29

Countdown Checklist W3 L-11: Check In Basket

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Check In Basket
Wave 3 prescribers who have completed basic training and the associated proficiency assessment gain access to the Connect Care production environment (PRD), where they can complete personalizations and otherwise get ready for launch. 

Some prescribers participate in or are affected by early cutover and conversion activities. They can line up orders that need to be ready in the system at launch. There may be communications that relate to setting up surgical cases or outpatient encounters that will occur post-launch. In addition, once a prescriber's account is activated in PRD, other Connect Care users can send messages to the prescriber via In Basket and new test results will route to the prescriber's In Basket.

More information on managing results and reports is available in the Connect Care Manual. A Results Management Toolkit has been prepared (and continually enhanced) to help prescribers hone effective and efficient results management habits. Prescribers with "mixed-context" practices need to be aware of situations where results might route to both their Connect Care and external EMR systems.

For these and other reasons, it is best to start regular In Basket checks now.  A useful In Basket personalization sends alerts to an email of one's choice when there is new In Basket content.

2021-03-28

Countdown Checklist W3 L-12: Anticipate Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)

Continuing a list of essential actions for Wave 3 physicians readying for Connect Care Launch April 10, 2021...
  • Anticipate CPOE
Computerized Prescriber (or Physician or Provider) Order Entry (CPOE) refers to the process of a medical prescriber entering orders electronically via a digital health record instead of using paper-based processes. 

CPOE offers an important means by which health processes and outcomes can improve. Entered orders trigger clinical decision supports that can help avoid unsafe medications, promote best practices and improve system performance. Studies show that the move from paper to CPOE decreases common medication errors by 50% or more.

Accordingly, it is a Minimum Use expectation that a
ll tests, interventions and medications that can be ordered in Connect Care must be ordered in Connect Care. Very few exceptions are acceptable.

Connect Care provides tools that make CPOE as easy as possible. Indeed, with the convenience of ordering personalized favourites on any computer or mobile device, anywhere, anytime; ordering is easier to do, and do well, than when constrained by paper. Still, Wave 3 launch will bring significant change for many providers at facilities moving from paper to computerized order entry. This is a good time to anticipate and prepare for CPOE: