We’ve mentioned Connect Care a few times before, but with November quickly approaching and a few new documents released by AHS, it’s probably time to talk about Connect Care again.
First, to answer the most popular question we get asked: Connect Care will not replace Healthquest, and Healthquest users will not be required to switch to Connect Care.
Connect Care is an Alberta Health Services initiative to provide a shared provincial clinical information system used by AHS clinicians in AHS facilities.1
From our discussions with AHS, it is our understanding that Connect Care will be a direct replacement for eClinician; that is, anywhere that eClinician is currently used will transition to Connect Care.
Connect Care will be in place everywhere AHS provides healthcare services and where AHS partners to provide healthcare services using the AHS record of care. This includes hospitals, clinics, AHS-run community health sites, CapitalCare, Covenant Health, Calgary Laboratory Services locations, and DynaLIFE locations.2
Connect Care will not be replacing Netcare. Netcare and Healthquest will continue to work together as they do now. According to AHS, Netcare will be upgraded to collect information from Connect Care (emergency department summaries, in-hospital consultations) and CPAR/CII.3 Healthquest users will not need to switch to Connect Care to have access to this patient information.
Since we mentioned it, CPAR/CII is fully independent of Connect Care. Healthquest users can continue to use CPAR/CII as they are now. CPAR/CII functionality will not change for Healthquest users.
Like CPAR/CII, eDelivery and Healthquest will continue to function as it is now once Connect Care has been deployed. According to AHS: “if you are receiving at least one result type via eDelivery today, you will be set up to receive all of the Connect Care results available by eDelivery in the future.”4
Multiple Patient Charts?
According to AHS: “Patient information will continue to reside in your community EMR, in Netcare, and in Connect Care, but there will be more common information available between them.”5
Essentially, your patient could have a chart in your Healthquest database, and a chart in Connect Care at an AHS facility. For example, one of your patients could visit an AHS emergency department where their information could be recorded in that facility’s Connect Care.
However, that does not mean that information will be inaccessible. Patient information (such as emergency department summaries and in-hospital consultations) will still be accessible via Netcare, and Healthquest will continue to access Netcare as it does now.
Healthquest users will not be required to switch to Connect Care to access this patient information collected in an AHS facility.
What Does All This Mean?
For Healthquest users, this will simply mean business as usual. AHS’ Connect Care will not be replacing Healthquest as your EMR – Connect Care will be implemented only in AHS facilities.
You will be able to continue using Healthquest within your practice and to manage your schedule. However, scheduling AHS resources will be done through Connect Care using AHS’ processes. E.g.: booking clinic and OR time at the U of A hospital.
Healthquest users in AHS facilities can continue to use Healthquest for claim submissions and letters/dictations.
AHS’ switch to Connect Care doesn’t mean you’ll be left without vital patient data: Microquest is currently working to integrate Healthquest with Connect Care, ensuring you’ll always have access to the information you’ll need to treat your patients.
1, 2, 4: Connect Care Community Provider Update, via https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/cis/if-cis-cc-community-provider-update-2019-08.pdf
3, 5: The Evolving Alberta Health Information System FAQs, via https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/cis/if-cis-cc-the-evolving-alberta-health-information-system-faq.pdf