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Bringing Lung Test Results onto Netcare

Respiratory Health SCN

Lung tests (i.e. pulmonary function testing) are one of the last diagnostic results to be available on Netcare. Private and public labs across Alberta agree that connection is 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) and the Alberta Medical Association (AMA). Our aim is to build technical solutions to support all CPSA-accredited labs to connect their test results to Netcare. We will also implement standardized provincial report templates for a spectrum of lung tests, improving the consistency in which results are communicated to referring physicians.

Why does this matter?

Over 600,000 Albertans have been diagnosed with 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 being tested and remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.  In fewer cases, Albertans may be re-tested unnecessarily, or they may receive a different test than what they may require.

With lung tests available on Netcare, all clinicians would have useful details at their fingertips and can better support the patient and help them navigate through the system. Armed with the best available information, clinicians will be 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.

Quick Reference

How to get involved?

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

If you are interested in becoming involved – whether it’s suggesting an idea or joining a team to co-design solutions, contact us at respiratoryhealth.scn@ahs.ca.