Connect Care: Strengthening Connections within Healthcare for Albertans
Scott Simmons, Connect Care CORe Lead (Diagnostic Imaging)
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is introducing Connect Care, an initiative that will transform the way we work together to deliver care, store and share information. Connect Care will introduce a common clinical information system (CIS) throughout AHS, providing a central electronic access point for patient information, common clinical standards and best healthcare practices. Patients will have one record used at all AHS and our partner facilities and programs, large or small, rural or urban.
This journey officially started a year ago, and has included extensive consultation with end users from across the province. Implementation has been set up over nine waves, between November 2019 and late 2022. Connect Care will impact all Albertans and enhance how we access health information and interact with the healthcare system.
For patients, Connect Care will mean that their AHS care providers will be working from the same information. They won’t be asked to repeat their health histories as often, or need to worry as much about whether they have missed crucial details.
Patients will also be able to access their own AHS health records, information about upcoming appointments and more through an online patient portal.
How often do we as technologists say to patients, “Your doctor should have the results in a few days”? Wouldn’t it be great to say, “The report for your exam today will be available to you within a few days” instead?
How will Connect Care change how technologists work? The embedded Radiology Information System (RIS) called Radiant, will have similar functionality to systems being used today. However, the integration benefits of working within the CIS will provide additional functionality.
Imagine being an MRI technologist and having the patient or inpatient unit complete a first pass of their MRI safety screening form before their appointment. It may provide you with important information to identify that further intervention may be required before their arrival (i.e. labs required, implant investigation).
For an MRI technologist, there is also a section within their work area that includes implants (medical devices within). This section will provide a description of the actual device implanted within AHS, including the model. This will allow staff to determine MRI compatibility in significantly less time. These types of integrated benefits apply to other modalities. Departments will be able to review information and cross reference with the medical and surgical history section within the CIS and review lab results that may affect the procedure path.
As professionals within the ACMDTT, you provide exemplary care for Albertans today. Connect Care will support you in ensuring that the information you need to perform your job is available and that vital information you need to share with other health professionals is accessible.
For more information about Connect Care, visit www.ahs.ca/connectcare