Connect Care update: AHS cites ‘significant improvement,’ DynaLIFE wait times going down

Click to play video: 'DynaLIFE on Connect Care launch, lab wait times, results'
DynaLIFE on Connect Care launch, lab wait times, results
Nov. 13: Jason Pincock, the CEO of DynaLIFE, discusses being part of the first wave launch of Connect Care, Alberta Health Services' new electronic system – Nov 13, 2019

It’s been 20 days since Alberta Health Services’ new electronic records system launched its first wave in Edmonton.

Connect Care was rolled out Nov. 3 in several Edmonton hospitals, ambulatory centres and DynaLIFE labs.

Community doctors were given new physician and clinic location identification numbers to align with the Connect Care system.

Because patients continued to come in for lab tests using requisitions that were issued prior to the launch and therefore didn’t have the new IDs, there were some delays and challenges matching the lab results with the correct file in the new system.

Some doctors told Global News this week they were still having trouble getting all their lab results in a timely manner.

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However, both Alberta Health Services and DynaLIFE on Thursday reported “significant improvement” in the delivery of lab results to community providers.

A spokesperson for AHS told Global News they are now processing requisitions at collection sites “close to normal levels” and that “the majority of community providers are receiving their results in their normal way.”

At DynaLIFE lab collection sites, wait times are going down, AHS said. The lab accepts walk-in and pre-booked appointments.

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On Nov. 4, the first weekday after Connect Care was launched, Albertans waited an average of 56 minutes at DynaLIFE clinics in the Edmonton zone. On Monday, Nov. 18, the average wait time was 39 minutes. AHS said the average wait time at a DynaLIFE lab collection site prior to the launch was 24 minutes.

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Click to play video: 'DynaLIFE on Connect Care launch, lab wait times, results'
DynaLIFE on Connect Care launch, lab wait times, results

DynaLIFE’s CEO echoed seeing that downward trend. Jason Pincock said waits at labs doubled on day 1 of the Connect Care rollout but were back to the mid 30s (minutes) by day 16.

He said matching requisitions with old doctor/location IDs with the correct file — what he describes as the “contact list issue” — is still creating some delays and will for some time.

Since the first wave of Connect Care included DynaLIFE, it affects every patient and doctor who interacts with and uses lab services.

“As we switch contact lists, every clinician has been provided a new contact ID and every location has a new location ID. Those are called ‘provider’ and ‘submitter’ in the EPIC model,” Pincock explained.

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“We need to understand that it’s not a switch you can switch overnight and convert one to the other, especially in the community, because we have patients who saw their doctor three weeks ago, under the old system, got that requisition, they’re walking around with it in their purse… and they need to get into the lab and get the work done.

“But when they show up at the lab, it doesn’t have any of the new contact information on it. So our staff at the front end have to figure out to make sure we get it to the right doctor, at the right place, in the new system.”

Pincock estimates that on Nov. 4, just 1/10 requisitions had the new IDs on them. Now, about 7/10 have the updated information.

He said about 95 per cent of all lab test results have now been sent to the right place. A special DynaLIFE team is troubleshooting that remaining five per cent, he said.

Pincock believes where they are now and the progress they’ve made in three weeks is “pretty great.”

Still, for Albertans who plan to visit a DynaLIFE lab soon, he asks for patience. He also suggests people ensure their requisition has their doctor’s full name and clinic address on it.


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