Bringing Lung Test Results onto Netcare

Respiratory Health SCN

Pulmonary function testing labs across Alberta agree that results from lung tests (i.e. pulmonary function tests) need to be accessible on Netcare, as an important step towards informing clinical decision making and collaborative care management.

This work is led by the Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network™, in partnership with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). Our aim is to build technical solutions to support all CPSA-accredited labs to connect their test results to Netcare. We are also implementing standardized provincial report templates for a spectrum of lung tests, improving the consistency in which results are communicated to referring physicians.

Connectivity solutions are available through AHS for labs using Vyaire (Vmax or Sentry Suite) and MGC (Ascent) software; a solution is also partially built for those using Morgan Scientific (ComPAS) software. These solutions make use of the most currently available privacy enhancements, and cost-efficiencies negotiated on behalf of all labs. For labs using an eligible EMR, connectivity solutions are becoming more available through AMA .

Why does this matter?

Over 600,000 Albertans have a current diagnosis of chronic respiratory disease. These diseases cannot be diagnosed and managed well without appropriate lung testing. While access to testing is not perceived to be an issue, many Albertans are not benefiting from testing and remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Approximately one third of all patients diagnosed with asthma are found to be misdiagnosed when referred to a specialist, and half of all COPD patients remain inaccurately diagnosed without the use of spirometry.

With lung tests available on Netcare, all clinicians would have useful details at their fingertips and could better support the patient and help them to navigate through the system. Armed with the best available information, clinicians are able to improve their patient’s care and experience by saving time and making informed decisions.

Which tests results are included?

These reports will become available on Netcare between 2019 and 2020:

  • Full Pulmonary Function Spectrum (with options for reporting only on spirometry or dynamic expansion of the report to cover a broader spectrum of tests including diffusion of lung capacity, nitrogen washout, maximum inspiratory pressure, maximum expiratory pressure, and incorporated arterial blood gas results)
  • Arterial Blood Gas (ABG)
  • Six Minute Walk Distance
  • Methacholine Challenge

These reports will become available after 2020:

  • Cardio-Pulmonary Exercise Test (CPET)
  • Resting Energy Expenditure

We are harmonizing all reports across all labs and the various software platforms so the reports will consistently contain and display the same values. This will make it easier for clinicians to readily find the information they seek. These standardized aspects are based on recent American Thoracic Society (ATS) recommendations and have been validated by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) - meeting their vision for the future of quality standards.

Lung Testing Recommendations

Explore development of recommendations supporting the right lung test for the right reason

More

Quick Reference

Initiative Resources

Progress to Date

A number of labs have already connected to Netcare using this solution; to see the latest details, view our progress bulletin:

Getting Involved / Contact Us

There are opportunities to get involved both in this work and in additional quality improvement initiatives for lung testing.

For more information about this initiative or if you are ready to participate, contact us at respiratoryhealth.scn@ahs.ca.