November 6, 2022
CALGARY — Alberta Health Services (AHS) today completed its largest launch of Connect Care to date, involving more than 25,000 staff and physicians at 135 AHS sites.
The initiative supports standardized care across AHS and enables all health records from AHS and its subsidiaries and partners to be accessed through a common provincial information system. It also provides clinicians with common decision-making support.
Launch 5 was the first to involve sites and programs in all five AHS zones. The launch involved acute and long-term care sites in the Calgary, North and Central zones of AHS, and two major provincial programs: Cancer Care Alberta and Alberta Kidney Care.
“The Connect Care system improves the ability to manage medical records, which benefits not just our front-line healthcare providers, but allows patients to play a greater role in their care,” says Health Minister Jason Copping.
Albertans who have visited a site where Connect Care is in place can sign up to MyAHS Connect, an online patient portal where people can see their health information, test results and medications; manage appointments; and communicate securely with their AHS healthcare team.
There are now nearly 75,000 staff, physicians and other healthcare providers using Connect Care to improve care for patients in North, Edmonton, Central, Calgary, and South zones.
“Expanding Connect Care is an important step in healthcare in this province and provides us with a central access point for patient information across AHS,” says Mauro Chies, AHS Interim President and CEO. “Eventually, health information will be accessible from any AHS location in the province, giving healthcare teams a more complete health history for patients, access to consistent information on best practices, and resources at their fingertips while maintaining the privacy of their information. Healthcare teams will also be able to communicate with patients and each other more easily.”
There was no significant patient impact reported as teams at these sites transitioned to the new information system. The cutover to the new system occurred at 5 a.m.
“Connect Care ensures all physicians, front-line staff and other care providers have access to the same clinical standards and best healthcare practices, and can provide high-quality care the same way, no matter where you are in Alberta,” says Dr. Francois Belanger, Vice President, Quality, and Chief Medical Officer at AHS.
“We had safeguards and protocols in place to protect patients during launch, ensuring the care we provide is never compromised, including our standard practice of reducing some surgical activity at our launching sites for the transition period. Patients may see AHS staff taking a little extra time to complete their charting and other tasks during launch, and we appreciate the patience of the public while we undertake this important improvement.”
There are nine Connect Care launches, which started November 2019 and will continue to the final implementation in fall 2024. When fully in place, 150,000 staff and physicians will be using Connect Care at 682 sites across Alberta.
“We are grateful to our patients, physicians, nurses, midwives, other front-line staff, technical teams, and patient and family advisors who have been instrumental in building the system, preparing for and implementing the launch,” says Sean Chilton, AHS Vice President, People, Health Professions and Information Technology.
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.