New Connect Care resources, Five questions with Barb Kathol, Recognizing success in electronic health

Connect Care: Better Health. Powered by Information.
Better Health. Powered by Information.

Connect Care Newsletter - November 30, 2018


We want to hear from you. How well do you understand Connect Care? How do you prefer to get your information? What would you like to see in future issues of this newsletter and other publications? Let us know by completing the two-minute Connect Care Pulse survey before December 15.

In this issue:


New Connect Care resources


As part of our ongoing effort to ensure you are ready for Connect Care, we are continuously adding the latest updates and resources to the Connect Care Insite page. Here’s what’s new:

Training & Learning Resources: The Training tab is now available on Insite. Here you will find answers to your training questions as well as the latest updates on the Connect Care training strategy.

Readiness Resources: The Telehealth recording of the Wave One Leader Orientation session on November 7 is now available on the Readiness tab. This event included an orientation to the Connect Care Readiness Playbook and an overview of the eHealth Competence program and Training curriculum catalogue.

Leaders' Toolkit: An interactive online version of the Connect Care overview is now available on Insite. The overview is located on the Leaders' Toolkit page and is organized under the headings What, Why, Who, When, Where and How.


Five questions with Barb Kathol


We have now been working with Epic Systems for over a year, and the Wave One launch of Connect Care is less than a year away. We have been asking senior Connect Care leaders to reflect on the journey so far and what’s ahead. In the third and final interview in our series, Barb Kathol, Senior Program Officer, Connect Care, Health Professions, Strategy, and Practice.

Looking back on the past year, what Connect Care achievements are you most proud of?

I am most proud of two things:

  • While there is still room for improvement, I am really proud of how important the patient and family advisor voice has become to co-create Connect Care. We have many very engaged patient advisors and their voice and perspectives have become integral to our Connect Care work.
  • I am also really proud of how quickly and effectively AHS and our partners have come together to design and implement a provincial system. Through extensive collaboration, sharing, and problem solving, clinicians, leaders, front line staff and consultants have together been able to answer more than 3000 questions in a very short period of time.

What do you see as the biggest challenges still ahead as we move toward the Wave One launch?

We have come a really long way in a short period of time, however I appreciate there is still a lot of hard work ahead. While the “why” of Connect Care is compelling, I worry about people remaining engaged and excited about Connect Care while teams work through the many readiness and implementation activities and requirements. Frequently reinforcing the vision and purpose of Connect Care will be important.

What excites you personally about Connect Care?

I am really excited about the patient portal and the benefits to Albertans from both having access to their health information as well as having a tool supporting a stronger partnership between patients and families and their care teams. I am also excited to think about our future state and the power of having consistent patient health information at the point of care delivery, as well as the power of the data for quality improvement, clinical inquiry, and health system learning.

Thinking from the perspective of Clinical Operations, what are the biggest opportunities as we move ahead?

I believe we have a great opportunity to learn from each other, sharing wisdom, knowledge, and expertise, as well as making stronger connections at a provincial level, particularly as we progress through the Connect Care waves.

What advice would you offer to AHS staff and physicians as we go through this transformation?

While it sounds corny, I believe AHS is strong and we will get there. My advice is to encourage all of us to form even stronger partnerships to co-create the best possible way forward together.


Recognizing success in electronic health


To better understand the benefits of Connect Care, it can be helpful to look at the success of other organizations that have also partnered with Epic to build clinical information systems. On that note, congratulations to Mackenzie Health in Ontario for becoming the first Canadian hospital to reach the coveted Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 7 certification, which they have acheived in both their emergency department and intensive care unit.

The EMRAM program is run by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The program scores hospitals around the world on the effectiveness and capabilities of their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. Stage 7 certification indicates that the hospital has achieved a near paperless environment and supports optimized patient care through the use of technology.

Read Mackenzie Health reaches EMRAM Stage 7 for more information on this success. Visit the HIMSS Analytics web page for more information on EMRAM.




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