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Resources

Medical Staff

This page connects AHS Medical Staff with a number of resources including to quality and safety tools; clinical guidelines and protocols; practitioner health and collaboration, Workplace Health and Safety resources, and more.

MHR Secure Mail

MHR Secure Mail is a new voluntary service that allows community-based physicians and clinicians to securely connect with patients for virtual care and remote consultation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsored by Alberta Health, MHR Secure Mail is one of a number of options available to physicians and we support community based physicians and clinicians choosing a solution that best meets their individual practice requirements.

Patients can access Alberta Health’s MHR Secure Mail for their community practice using the My Personal Records tool found in MyHealth Records. MyHealth Records is an online tool that allows Albertans aged 14 and older see some of their health information from Alberta Netcare, the provincial electronic health record. Patients can only send messages to their doctor if their doctor has signed up for the service.

MHR Secure Mail messaging service is being offered by Alberta Health free of charge to participating clinics to July 31, 2020. After that date, the regular monthly fee of $39.99 per provider will be in effect. There is no fee for the patient to use Secure-Mail.

Additional Tools to Connect with Patients

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is required to uphold its legal obligation as a public body that holds personal information and as a custodian of health information. In adherence to existing AHS policy, AHS provides clinicians with tools for secure transmission of clinical information for the purpose of their work and where AHS holds the legal record of care. These solutions include:

  • Within Connect Care Messaging
    • Use messaging solutions within Connect Care when sender and recipient both have access. This includes clinicians who do not use Connect Care as the record of care but have access to the Provider Portal.
  • AHS Secure Email
    • If both sender and receiver have AHS email addresses (@albertahealthservices.ca or @ahs.ca or @covenanthealth.ca or @albertapprecisionlabs.ca), then clinical communications can be securely sent and received using AHS email.
  • If the sender has an AHS email address but the receiver does not, then add “!Private” to the subject line so the email message is encrypted.
  • External Approved Solution
    • If none of the above are appropriate for clinical communications, consider use of an external clinical secure messaging solution that meets Health Information Act requirements similar to this new service being made available by Alberta Health.

Mandatory Privacy Breach Reporting

Mandatory Breach reporting came into effect in Alberta on August 31, 2018. AHS is now required by law to report privacy breaches to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta. It’s important that all AHS staff, physicians and volunteers continue to report any privacy breaches to AHS’ Information & Privacy office. To report a breach you must either fill out the Notification of Privacy Breach Form or e-mail the Information & Privacy office at privacy@ahs.ca. Additional resources:

Provider Self-Serve Portal (PSSP)

Provider Self-Serve Portal (PSSP) is a secure, web-based portal for authorized healthcare providers to manage their practice information and view the contact information of other providers in the Provincial Provider Registry.

PSSP will make it easier for authorized AHS and non-AHS providers to connect with each other, share information and provide timely patient care, particularly in the event of critical test results or a public health emergency. Physicians will be the first health professionals to use the PSSP, with other health professions to be added in the future. PSSP will be available only to verified end-users of Alberta Netcare, so if you don't have Netcare access yet, you should apply.

To access PSSP, visit https://share.albertahealthservices.ca/PSSP

Physician Advocacy

Advocacy is an important component of the doctor-patient relationship and physicians should individually and collectively advocate with their patients. Advocacy involves the responsible use of expertise and influence to advance patients healthcare interest. To learn more, visit:

Practitioner Advocacy Assistance Line

The Practitioner Advocacy Assistance Line (PAAL) is a central point of contact for practitioners to share concerns or advise the Zone Medical Staff Association (ZMSA) presidents of challenges in advocating for patients and reporting intimidation. Confidential reporting is assured through a secure third party organization.

  • The PAAL toll free number is 1-866-225-7112.

Visit the AMA website to learn more.

Patient Safety

Patient Safety consists of three teams that support operational leadership and clinicians in making care safer within AHS. The Patient Safety Learning and Improvement (PSLI) team provides reporting and evaluation expertise to clinical and operational leaders responsible for implementing recommendations resulting from quality assurance reviews and supports the dissemination of patient safety learning across AHS. As part of the PSLI team, Patient Safety Specialists participate in and provide support to a variety of provincial patient safety initiatives and quality assurance activities. The Human Factors team use human factors science to develop timely, valuable, and evidence-based solutions that reduce risk and contribute to the design of a high-quality and safe healthcare system. The eQuality and eSafety team supports AHS and its partners to ensure digital health enhances patient safety and quality of care through the application of leading practices in the development, implementation, and use of digital health technology and electronic health systems.

Appropriate Prioritization of Access to Health Services

AHS provides equitable access to health services for Albertans no matter where in the province they live, who they are, or what health concerns they may have. This commitment is outlined in the Appropriate Prioritization of Access to Health Services policy.

In order to support implementation of this policy, AHS has created several physician-specific resources:

Medication Reconciliation (Med Rec)

Medication reconciliation (MedRec) is a structured three-step process in which healthcare professionals partner with patients, families and/or caregivers to ensure that accurate and complete medication information is communicated at transitions of care.

The Medication Reconciliation Policy has been updated to clarify the process, with no changes to practice.

Updates are as follows:

  • Clear statement that an authorized prescriber resolves medication discrepancies
  • Language revisions to enhance clarity of content

Questions? Contact medrec@ahs.ca.

Alberta Netcare eReferral

Alberta Netcare eReferral is Alberta Health Services’ first paperless referral system that allows physicians and clinical support staff to create, submit, track and manage referrals electronically. Since its creation in December 2018, the number of specialties available for advice and consult requests has grown from just three to 27.

For more information about eReferral, email access.ereferral@ahs.ca.

Updates to eReferral Advice Requests made in April 2020

On April 16, 2020, changes were made to Alberta Netcare eReferral, including new specialties being added and expanding existing Advice Request services to new Zones.

OBS-GYN – Urogynecology and Paediatrics – Gastroenterology are new specialties added to Advice Request in the Edmonton Zone. Our existing Advice Request service has also expanded to include these new Zones:

  • Orthopaedic Surgery (Shoulder issue) – Province-wide*
  • Otolaryngology (Otolaryngology issue) – Calgary Zone
  • Otolaryngology (Paeds Otolaryngology issue) – Calgary Zone
  • Psychiatry – Child and Adolescent (Child and adolescent psychiatric health issue) – Central, Edmonton & South Zones

*On April 24, 2020, Orthopaedic Surgery released more Advice Request reasons for referral province-wide, including: Ankle issue, elbow issue, foot issue, hip issue, knee issue and wrist issue.

eReferral users will also see an update to the facility name for Urology. The new facility name is listed as: Kaye Edmonton Clinic – Dianne and Irving Kipnes Urology Centre. It was previously Northern Alberta Urology Centre.

Finally, Calgary Zone Adult Gastroenterology has disabled Advice Request for Hepatology issue. Edmonton, North and South Zones continue to accept Advice Requests for Hepatology issue.

For quick references on how to submit an eReferral Advice Request, visit the Alberta Netcare Learning Centre. For training support, contact the eHealth Netcare Support Services team at 1-855-643-8649 or email ehealthsupport@cgi.com.

Visit albertanetcare.ca for more information about eReferral.