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 Section of the Medicine 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.
A connectivity solution is available through AHS for independent labs using Vyaire (Vmax or Sentry Suite); solutions for MGC (Ascent) and Morgan Scientific (ComPAS) software are in development. 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 .
Over 600,000 Albertans have a current diagnosis of chronic respiratory disease. 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 will have useful details at their fingertips and can better support the patient and help them to navigate through the system.
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.
Development of provincial recommendations supporting the right lung test for the right reason
Progress to Date
There are opportunities to get involved both in this work and in additional quality improvement initiatives for lung testing.
For more information, or if you are ready to participate, email: