Frequently Asked Questions - Patient

Connect Care

Q: Why do we need Connect Care?

A: Connect Care will put the focus on the patient by:

  • Giving them on-demand access to their health information, helping them be active members of the healthcare team.
  • Helping them move more easily between care settings.
  • Improving communication with their healthcare providers.

Connect Care will lead to improved patient care, patient safety and better health outcomes by:

  • Giving healthcare teams a more complete picture of a patient’s health.
  • Providing the whole healthcare team with the best possible information throughout the care journey.
  • Supporting best practices for clinicians in all parts of the province.

Connect Care will make us more efficient by:

  • Giving a single access point to health information for AHS, its partners and affiliates.
  • Reducing the use of paper and printing supplies.
  • Improving the efficiency of laboratory and support services.
  • Reducing unnecessary variation and duplication in clinical services.
  • Implementing best practices across the province in a consistent and comprehensive manner.

Q: When will Connect Care be available?

A: Connect Care is being introduced across facilities and programs at AHS, its partners and certain other clinics and practices between 2019 and 2023.

The first three waves of Connect Care have been implemented, meaning sites and programs in Edmonton Zone and western North Zone are live. Many sites in Calgary Zone will launch as part of the next wave in 2022.

Q: Where will Connect Care be available?

A: Once Connect Care is fully in place, it will be used everywhere AHS provides healthcare services and where we partner to provide healthcare services using the AHS record of care. This includes:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Continuing Care
  • Cancer centres
  • Addiction & Mental Health facilities
  • AHS-run community health sites
  • Carewest sites
  • CapitalCare sites
  • Covenant Health sites
  • Alberta Precision Laboratories locations
  • Lamont Health Care Centre
  • DynaLIFE locations
  • Many other clinics and practices

Q: Will my family doctor be able to see my information?

A: Community practitioners are a huge part of any person’s care team. Many will fully participate in Connect Care right from the beginning, using the clinical information system as their record of care.

Healthcare providers who do not use Connect Care as the record of care, including independent physicians, will be offered access to the Connect Care Provider Portal. This allows them to communicate securely and participate in care coordinated across the entire healthcare team. Their patient’s Connect Care information can help inform care wherever it is received.

The Connect Care Provider Portal is available to a limited group of physicians for evaluation. As Connect Care progresses, access to the Provider Portal will be expanded to other groups.

Q: Will my health information be secure?

A: In order to access Connect Care, all AHS staff, physicians, midwives, students, residents, volunteers and contractors must complete a required privacy and information security training course and this training must be renewed at least every three years.

AHS has also put a “Smart Auditing tool” in place with the first wave of Connect Care in fall 2019. This tool uses artificial intelligence to flag when information is accessed in ways that appear to be inappropriate. All access to any type of information will be recorded electronically and can be audited. Patients will also have the opportunity to learn who has looked at their record.

There are many specific situations where particularly confidential information is shared with care providers, but patients do not want the information to be broadly accessible. In these circumstances, Connect Care will have the ability to “mask” or restrict who can view specific information.

By reducing the number of clinical information systems we use, we reduce the number of security risks we are exposed to, allowing us to focus our security initiatives on fewer systems. All patient information will be stored in Alberta.

AHS is committed to protecting your privacy and keeping your health information safe - it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the law. Everything we do at AHS complies with the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Health Information Act.

Q: Will Connect Care save us money?

A: Yes. Connect Care is an investment in the health of Albertans. We expect to see a return on this investment in both health outcomes and dollars.

This includes anticipated savings in areas like:

  • Improved coordination of patient care.
  • Controlling drug costs by making it easier to access patients’ medication history and making it easier to use generic instead of brand name drugs.
  • Reduced duplicate and unnecessary testing.
  • Reduced medical record and transcription costs.

These savings can be reinvested in our hospitals and clinics.