Connect Care Wave 3 launches to support healthcare in North Zone

April 10, 2021

4,000 staff and 280 physicians, as well as other prescribers, involved in North Zone launch of Wave 3

GRANDE PRAIRIE - Alberta Health Services (AHS) today fully launched Connect Care Wave 3 at 24 sites, primarily located in the western part of the North Zone.

Encompassing approximately 4,000 staff and 280 physicians, as well as nurse practitioners, physician and clinical assistants, dentists and other similar healthcare provider roles, this launch includes sites in the former Peace Country Health Region (west side of North Zone), including Grande Prairie's QEII hospital. It incorporates related clinical support programs, including pharmacy, diagnostic imaging services, Alberta Precision Labs associated with these programs and services, Health Information Management, Nutrition and Food Services, and other support areas.

In total, there are 31 sites launching in Wave 3, in full or partially, including the following sites:

The launch of Wave 3 comes almost six months after the successful launch of Wave 2, in October 2020, which saw Connect Care implemented at rural sites across the Edmonton Zone, and approximately a year and a half after the first launch in November 2019 in Edmonton.

“Our patients have been our focus every step of the way. Connect Care is transforming how patient information flows between patients and their healthcare providers. When complete, we will have a central access point for current and accurate patient information across AHS,” said Dr. Francois Belanger, Chief Medical Officer, AHS.

Connect Care, launching in nine implementation waves in total, is a new way of using and sharing health information to improve patient care. Albertans’ health records from AHS, its subsidiaries and partners will be accessed through a common system. Eventually, a patient’s health information will be accessible from any AHS location in the province and will move with the patient through their care journey. It will give a patient’s healthcare team a more complete picture of their health history, access to consistent information on best practices, resources at their fingertips and will be able to communicate with patients and each other more easily.

Patients, physicians, nurses, other frontline staff and technical teams have been instrumental in building the system and preparing for the launch.

We already know Connect Care adds value. As the COVID-19 pandemic demands increased, Wave 1 and 2 sites and programs were able to use Connect Care to support COVID-19 care.

Connect Care was adapted to meet the needs of staff and patients, including adding information to the system for telephone and virtual visits to Connect Care, helping patients access virtual visits with their care providers, adding travel screening and COVID-19 diagnosis to patient charts, and other key elements to support the pandemic response.

“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 healthcare teams, supporting better health for every Alberta in our care,” said Dr. Belanger.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.