Connect Care now in more sites, programs across Alberta

May 4, 2024

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services (AHS) today completed its eighth launch of Connect Care, bringing more than 10,600 additional staff and physicians at 229 AHS and AHS-partner sites and locations, onto the common provincial information system.

The initiative supports best practices across AHS, and enables health records from AHS and its subsidiaries and partners to be accessed through one system. It also provides clinicians with common decision-making support.

Launch 8 involves every AHS zone across 129 towns and cities in Alberta, and includes sites, programs and services for:

Albertans who have visited a site where Connect Care is in place can have access 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.

With Launch 8, there are now more than 118,400 staff, physicians and other healthcare providers using Connect Care to improve care for patients, across all five AHS zones. At completion, AHS will have undertaken nine Connect Care launches.  The launches started in November 2019 and will continue to the final implementation in fall 2024. When fully in place, approximately 125,000 staff and physicians will be using Connect Care at 682 sites across Alberta.

“Each Connect Care launch brings more front-line healthcare workers, physicians and patients together to give healthcare teams a more complete health history for patients, access to consistent information on best practices and resources at their fingertips, while improving our ability to keep information private and secure,” says AHS President and CEO Athana Mentzelopoulos. “Healthcare teams can also communicate with patients and each other more easily.”

The switch over to Connect Care went as planned as teams at these locations transitioned to the new information system at 5 a.m. today.

“Connect Care helps AHS physicians and other healthcare providers do their best possible work. Having a common clinical information system across AHS means patients aren’t repeating their health histories as often and care teams have access to complex histories and medication lists,” says Dr. Peter Jamieson, Vice President, Quality, and Interim Chief Medical Officer.

“All launches to date have included plans to ensure the care we provide is never compromised during the transition. 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 our teams adjust to these improvements.”

AHS has led the way in Canada with Connect Care as the only health authority in the country with a provincewide clinical information system. In addition to this, AHS has the lowest cost per user to operate the system when compared to other clients of the software vendor, Epic Systems, who are of a similar scale to AHS. Connect Care gives healthcare providers more tools to support their patients at almost half the cost per user of the systems AHS had previously in place.

“The scale of Connect Care makes it one of the largest clinical system implementations in the world,” adds Sean Chilton, AHS Interim Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Clinical Operations and EMS.

“We could not do this without the input and support of patients, physicians, nurses, midwives, other front-line staff, technical teams, and patient and family advisors who have been involved in every step in getting us to this the launch.”

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. Our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. Our current focus is on reducing emergency department wait times, improving EMS response times, increasing access to surgeries, and improving patient flow.