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AHS launches stage 4 of Connect Care in Edmonton, Calgary

Registered nurses Stephanie Sarafinchen, Laura Vey and Tanya Gladue review assessments on the new Connect Care interface in the burn unit at the University of Alberta Hospital on Oct. 4, 2019. Courtesy: Twitter/AHS media

Alberta Health Services completed its largest launch of Connect Care to date and has added more than 23,000 staff and physicians to the provincial clinical information system.

Fifty-seven sites in the Edmonton and Calgary areas, including the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary, have been added to the Connect Care system.

Read more: New electronic health system Connect Care launches ‘well’ but with ‘anticipated glitches’: AHS

In a news release on Saturday, AHS noted that rural and urgent care sites as well as clinics and services aligned with them in the Calgary zone, the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatric Centre, Central Production Pharmacy, addiction and mental health facilities in the Edmonton zone and all AHS labs in the Edmonton Zone, have also been added.

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Connect Care replaces all paper charting, medication records, lab requisitions and results, and patient medical histories. It will allow health care providers a central access point to patient information, common clinical standards and best health care practices.

“Connect Care is transforming how patient information flows between patients and their health care providers,” said Mauro Chies, AHS interim president and CEO. “When complete, we will have a central access point for current and accurate patient information across AHS.

“Ultimately, Connect Care will help us ensure high-quality care is being delivered in the same way no matter where you are in Alberta. It will let us record and share our patients’ health information with them and their health care teams, supporting better health for every Alberta in our care.”

Work on the new electronic system and its integration began in 2016.

Read more: COVID-19 delays next phases of Connect Care health system launch in Alberta

 

The phased rollout started Nov. 3, 2019 but was held up by due the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, in stage four of the launch, AHS noted that there was no significant patient impact reported as teams at the newly added sites transitioned to the new information system.

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“We are grateful to our patients, physicians, nurses, midwives, other frontline staff, technical teams and patient family advisors who have been instrumental in building the system, preparing for and implementing the launch,” Sean Chilton, AHS vice president of people, health professions and information technology, said.

In the first phase of the rollout, health care workers reported several issues, including log-in problems and the system not connecting with the right printers.

Read more: EMS will be diverted from 7 Alberta ERs as Wave 2 of Connect Care launches Saturday

 

AHS noted that with Launch 4 in place, there are more than 50,000 staff, physicians and health care providers now using the Connect Care system, and more than 100,000 patients using the MyAHS Connect patient portal.

With a total of nine Connect Care launches planned, the new date for final implementation across the province is in the fall of 2024. When in place, AHS says 150,000 staff and physicians in Alberta will be using the system across 682 sites.

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