Patient Name Enhancements

Enhancement updates provide short alerts to new, fixed or improved Connect Care functions...
  • Patient Name Enhancements
We've previously posted about enhancements to Connect Care text automation tools (.e.g, SmartLinks, SmartPhrases) to make sure that patients' affirmed names are used appropriately. 
As of September 17, 2020 Connect Care SmartLinks referring to the Patient’s name are changed to link to affirmed (preferred) name, rather than legal name. This change aligns with the AHS directive to address patients by their affirmed name whenever possible; while legal name should only be used when legally or clinically required and should always be accompanied by affirmed name. 
This change is noticeable in some SmartTexts and SmartPhrases, as elsewhere in the system most often uses affirmed name already. The following SmartLink Mnemonic (prompts) are changed from linking to legal name to affirmed name:
  • FNAME – affirmed first name
  • AHSNAME – affirmed full name
  • NAME – affirmed full name
  • PATFIRSTNAME – affirmed first name
  • PATIENTNAME – affirmed full name

Chart Search Improvements

Enhancement updates provide short alerts to new, fixed or improved Connect Care functions...
  • Chart Search Improvements
Chart Search is easily accessed from within the StoryBoard in open charts. Worth getting to know! Chart Search is a bit like a Google search of a chart, pulling up encounters, documentation, even orders that match entered keywords.

Chart Search is enhanced to make it easier to enter multiple keywords, or unique combinations of letters that can retrieve specific objects, like discharge summaries. Shorthand searches composed of multiple single letters are recognized.

This functionality will continue to improve as acronyms common in Alberta are added. For now, feel free to explore using abbreviated terms when searching (e.g., "his and phys").

StoryBoard Improvements

Enhancement updates provide short alerts to new, fixed or improved Connect Care functions...
  • StoryBoard Improvements
The Connect Care September 10, 2020, upgrade brings some small but useful improvements to the StoryBoard appearing in the leftmost column of opened charts.
  • Patient Demographics
    • More information displays when hovering just under a patient's name in StoryBoard, configured in a way fully compliant with AHS's inclusive CIS design.
  • Sizing Options
    • To better accommodate working on smaller screens (including Tablets), the StoryBoard width can now be set to "Narrow" after right-clicking anywhere in the StoryBoard. The "Auto" setting now has more range for lower screen resolutions.

  • Hover Responsiveness
    • The patient StoryBoard provides a gateway to a vast amount of information without clutter, largely because of its "hover" capabilities where additional information bubbles up when the cursor is positioned over an information group in the StoryBoard. The additional information display is triggered after a set time that the cursor remains "hovering".
    • Users can now control how long the hover is before secondary information appears.
    • Right-clicking anywhere in the StoryBoard brings up a personalization menu (as above) that includes options for Quick, Medium, Slow or Slowest hover responsiveness.
  • Pregnancy Flag Hover
    • Pregnant patients have a StoryBoard flag (to the right of patient photo location) indicating pregnancy. Hovering over this now reveals additional information, including the patient's estimated delivery date.

Help!... Haiku stopped working after a scheduled Downtime

Problem: Users of Connect Care mobility (Haiku, Canto) may find that they cannot log on to the application(s) after a system upgrade (e.g., September 2020 Upgrade).

Context: Mobile apps are continually improved, just as desktop interfaces (Hyperspace) are improved through periodic updates and upgrades. Some upgrades may be significant enough that a recent version of the mobile app is needed to communicate with system servers. However, mobile applications on user devices are largely under user control. Not everyone configures for automatic updates. It is a good practice to update the mobile app(s) periodically. The best time to do this is immediately after a system upgrade (watch the blogs).

Solution: Although Haiku and Canto can be updated from iOS or Android app stores, best practice is to do a re-install from the Workspace One "Catalog" installed on user devices when Connect Care Mobility is first enabled (see Manual).

Open the "Catalog" app, look for the Haiku or Canto listing, and select the "Installed" or "Install" button. It does not matter that the app is already installed. Re-installing updates to the latest version compatible with Connect Care servers, while preserving important configuration settings.

The most recent version of Haiku at the time of the September Upgrade is 9.4.2.

Consent Navigator Improved for Pediatrics

Enhancement updates provide short alerts to new, fixed or improved Connect Care functions...
  • Consent Navigator better supports Pediatric care
Capacity Assessment and Interview Tools no longer take up space in the Consent Navigator for patients under 17 years old.

A “paediatric patient” option has been added to possible  alternate decision maker relationships.


"New Encounter" Button added to In-Basket Results Review

Enhancement updates provide short alerts to new, fixed or improved Connect Care functions...
  • "New Encounter" In-Basket Speed Button
A speed button for “New Encounter” is added for use in In-Basket Results Review workflows. This complements the existing "Encounter" speed button, which allows prescribers to jump into the patient chart, at the correct encounter, when results are reviewed. It can help to check the clinical context when considering the significance of a new result.

However, sometimes the result is of such significance that the prescriber may wish to create a new documentation, orders-only, telephone or other encounter(s) to capture information about the finding or any actions required. This is what the "New Encounter" button speeds up.

The new speed button was added to Results Review in response to optimization requests.

Easier to display recent Order History

Enhancement updates provide short alerts to new, fixed or improved Connect Care functions...
  • New View and Speed Button for Orders History
A new option is added for filtering the display of past orders, facilitating rapid review of the last 3 days.


AHS Outlook 365 Email Slow on Windows Devices

Problem: Physicians who use personal devices to access AHS secure email accounts (@ahs.ca or @albertahealthservices.ca) may find that email is sluggish when using Outlook 365 outside of AHS facilities.

Context: Outlook 365 "checks-in" frequently to ensure that what the user sees represents what is on AHS servers. This process can make Outlook seem slow if internet connections are not brisk.

Solution: Outlook 365 users on Windows devices can configure the software to use "cached mode", with significant performance improvements. This adjustment is not available, and not needed, with the Macintosh version of Office 365. And this mode is not relevant when Outlook Webmail is used.

Apple Mail/Spark/AirMail/etc. no longer access AHS email

Problem: Physicians who use personal devices and email software to access AHS secure email accounts (@ahs.ca or @albertahealthservices.ca) may find that email is no longer delivered to their device.

Context: Alberta Health Services (AHS) is upgrading from Microsoft's 2007 Communications Server to infrastructure capable of supporting Office 365 (Outlook 365). This happens for most physicians during the month of August 2020. Changes to the configuration of enterprise email can improve the security of email communications for AHS stakeholders; but require some adjustments from AHS email users.

Solution: After a physician account is transferred to the new AHS email infrastructure, the only email software that can access AHS email will be a recent version of Microsoft Outlook (Office 365 preferred). Outlook for smartphones or tablets (iOS, Android) is required for mobile access. Outlook for devices (Windows, MacOS) is required for desktop or laptop access. 

In order to use Outlook in this way, physicians must additionally install a software application called "Workspace ONE". This secures a portion of the personal device where Outlook can operate with enhanced security. Installation processes for WSO and Outlook are described in AHS communications documents (referenced in a prior posting).

Physicians can also access AHS email via a simple Outlook web interface (ahs-cis.ca/webmail). 

Can't Find an Inpatient Provider Team

Problem: Clinicians must specify a destination "Provider Team" when admitting, transferring or consulting about a patient. What if they can't find an expected clinical team? How can the possibility of a "missing" team be checked, a provisional order be placed, and a correction requested for the Provider Team list?

Context: An All-user Bulletin alerts to the shift from an older "Provider Groups" to a more powerful "Provider Teams" functionality for managing the attachment of inpatients to clinically meaningful clinical services.

Solution: If a clinician is attempting to attach an inpatient to an existing inpatient service team and cannot find that team listed, then the following steps should be followed (after confirming understanding of the Provider Team Management tip sheet):
  1. Check the Provider Team Names Crib-Sheet to look for the needed team by browsing current specialties and services as commonly referred to. Failure to find a desired Provider Team may simply relate to recognition.
  2. If the desired team is not found or known, and the admission or transfer order mandates team selection (hard-stop), it is possible to select a "generic" provider team from the current Provider Team list and seek a correction later.
  3. Submit a request for adding, removing or editing a Provider Team name to help.connect-care.ca (use the request section entitled "I Have an Issue Related to How Connect Care Supports My Documentation, Orders, Decisions or Practice Improvement").

Haiku Logon Difficulties on Android Devices

Problem: Some physicians experience difficulty logging into Haiku on Android devices.  This is occasionally also seen on iOS devices running Haiku  or Canto.

Context: Android devices may fail to recognize and use the virtual private network (VPN) "Tunnel" that needs to be active in order for Haiku to connect to its server. Re-setting the network connections (going into Airplane mode and then out again) can correct this lapse. 

Tunnel failures happen very rarely with iOS, but the fix is the same: enter and then exit Airplane mode. 

Solution: Each of these troubleshooting strategies can be tried:
  1. Switch phone to airplane mode and then switch back to Wifi (Wait 30 seconds after switching back).
  2. Switch phone to cellular or Wifi depending on current network connection. (Wait 30 seconds after switching).
  3. Cycle through different Wifi’s to re-establish a network connection. (Wait 30 seconds after switching).


COVID-19 IPC Alerts Live

Problem: Patients arriving from non-Wave-1 sites with positive COVID-19 NAT results were not triggering automated infection prevention and control (IPC) alerts.

Solution: The COVID-19 IPC Alert now auto-triggers in Connect Care, even for specimens collected outside of launched sites. This applies across all contexts, including ambulatory care.

Emergency Visit Reports from non-Connect Care sites Available in Connect Care

Problem: Emergency room visits where Connect Care is the record of care are reported in a standardized way and shared with the Alberta Netcare Portal; but summaries of visits at non-Connect Care sites do not appear within Connect Care.

Solution: On February 10, 2020, a data feed for emergency documents was activated in Connect Care. When a patient visits an Edmonton emergency department that has not implemented Connect Care, their documents are scanned and incorporated into Connect Care. This allows providers using Connect Care to view their patients’ emergency documents within the chart, rather than having to launch Netcare. Note that reports prior to February 10 are not converted.

Printing at Remote Locations

Problem: The Connect Care Clinical Information System can be accessed from many locations. The “hyperspace” environment, however, is configured to route printed artefacts to locations appropriate for the logged-on department and task. This behavior can frustrate attempts to print when working remotely.

Solution: A one-page tip illustrates how to ensure that printing occurs locally at the intended device:

Change to location of 'External' Orders

Problem: When ordering interventions (e.g., referral) in an inpatient context, physicians need to remember to open a specific "External Orders" activity to access orders applicable in an outpatient context. This proved confusing and forced exit from one ordering workflow (inpatient) to find a different ordering workflow.

Solution: Connect Care has been enhanced to bring all ordering within the same workflow. Now "External Orders" appears as a tab within the Inpatient Orders activity when a patient chart is open in an inpatient context. Prescribers are alerted to use this tab only for referrals or other post-discharge interventions.

Haiku and Canto problems post-upgrade

Problem: Haiku (SmartPhone) and Canto (iPad) users may have trouble opening their Connect Care mobile apps after the system upgrade of March 12, 2020. The following message may appear at attempted logon:

Context: Connect Care upgraded its instance of Epic software, including the systems supporting mobile applications. The mobile applications also need updating. The version should be 9.2 (version information can be found by going to mobile system settings for "Haiku" or "Canto" and scrolling to view the version number) and should have been updated automatically. Some users may not have received the update.

Solution: Delete the mobile app from your mobile device. Reboot the device. Open the "Catalog" app that was installed when originally activating Connect Care mobile apps (see installing mobility in Connect Care Physician Manual). Re-install Canto or Haiku (even if the Catalog indicates that it is already installed). Remember to give the install a lot of time because configuration files are sent after the app itself is installed.

Possible Problems Printing After Visit Summaries

Problem: There is a small possibility that attempts to print After Visit Summaries (AVS) for some patients may be associated with some formatting problems. This is not a known Connect Care problem but a (remotely) possible effect of the clinical system upgrade occuring March 12, 2020, in the early morning hours.

Context: The March 12 upgrade includes a new software component that renders the print-ready AVS. Some organizations have experienced rare difficulties. We have implemented preventive measures but want users to be vigilant when printing AVS reports so that any problems get promptly disclosed to the help desk (help.connect-care.ca).

Solution: AVS reports are helpful but not essential to outpatient care. Key content, such as medication lists, patient instructions or appointment details can be printed in other ways. And patients signed up to MyAHS Connect get their information by that route. Should any print formatting problems occur, please use the following troubleshooting pathway.


Mobile Microsoft Outlook App no longer working with AHS email

Problem #1: Physicians who use personal mobile devices and the Microsoft Outlook mobile app for access to AHS email and calendars are noticing calendar gaps, lack of appointment reminders or apparent loss of emails.

Context #1: A legacy AHS Communication Server supports email and calendar services. This is being upgraded. However, many physicians remain on the older server until a satisfactory physician configuration for the new server can be confirmed. Microsoft has recently changed its software in a way that blocks the ability of its current generation mobile app (Outlook for iOS and Android) to communicate with the older server (no longer supported).

Solution #1: There is no way to reliably use Outlook mobile with the older communications server. Physicians can, however, use other mobile mail and calendar clients (e.g., Apple Mail, Spark, etc.). Instructions for connecting to AHS email with native iOS and Android clients are available.

Problem #2: Physicians who have used personal mobile devices for access to AHS email and calendars may notice sudden disruption of service.

Context #2: Although we are avoiding physician transitions to the new communications server, some physicians contracted to AHS have already been transitioned. There are new constraints that affect how mobile email and calendar access can work. The Microsoft Outlook app must be used (no other email or calendar apps will work with the new AHS configuration) and must be deployed through the same secure channel used for Connect Care mobile apps (Workspace ONE).

Solution #2: Affected physicians should receive instructions about installing and using Workspace ONE. This will allow Outlook to be used for mail and calendar access. The CMIO portfolio is working with AHS communications to prepare physicians for this change.

Patient Messages going to Clinic In-Basket Pools

Problem: Some patient communications appear to be inappropriately copied to clinic messaging pools when the patient and/or physician assumed that the exchange was exclusive to provider and patient.

Context: Some physicians already take advantage of Connect Care secure messaging to communicate with their patients. When patients use MyAHS Connect (patient portal), they are able to report outcomes and seek guidance from their clinician between visits; helpful in chronic disease management. Although many interactions may be okay for copying to a clinic messaging pool, where support staff can screen messages for urgent issues and ensure timely connections with the right providers, the physician and/or physician may want to keep the communication loop closed.

Solution: Clinic-level incoming messaging pools are important for ensuring that patient communications are appropriately screened, triaged and directed to the right provider. Previously, the "Send patient reply to me" checkbox, appearing on all message composition screens for physician-to-patient communications, was not selected by default. Clinicians may not have noticed and may not have appreciated that the patient reply would copy to a clinic message pool. As of this week, this option is now selected by default.

Automated Appointment Reminders - Are they Working?

Problem: An automated telephone appointment reminder system has been integrated with the Connect Care clinical information system and deployed at the end of January 2020. There will be growing pains. Physicians experiencing a no-show may wonder whether the patient received an appointment reminder but do not know how to do this within the Connect Care outpatient chart.

Context: Automated reminders can free up clinic support staff for other important patient support activities. However, they do not work for all situations. Clinics managers can submit a request to opt-out, some areas have customized reminder scripts (coming soon), and some outpatient venues (e.g. procedures) will not be enabled until more experience accrues.

Solution: There is a way to get the patient appointment reminder status but it involves using the Department Appointments Report (DAR) functionality and editing the display columns to include one or more appointment status-related columns (e.g., "Patient Communication Preference", "Patient MyChart Status", "Confirmed Appointment", "Appointment Reminder Sent", "ES Phone Reminder Status"). Instructions for doing this are included in the tip linked below.


Easier is to open the “Appt” activity within a chart. This has a appointment reminder letter audit trail for each apt. We are looking for simpler ways to know of reminder status and are seeking addition of this information to the Appt chart activity.

Why so much Scheduled Downtime?

Problem: Connect Care users wonder why they are alerted to a third scheduled downtime within the first 4 months post-launch. Scheduled downtimes for other systems that physicians use  have been less frequent (e.g., Netcare) or intrusive (e.g., eCLINICIAN).

Considerations: The Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) is much larger, more comprehensive, and wide-reaching than prior systems. A need to maintain or upgrade one part of the system could mandate restarting other servers to ensure that there is no break in the medical record. Alberta Health Services has committed to keeping the CIS software current and not falling behind the best that our partner (Epic) has to offer. This means upgrades can be adopted as frequently as quarterly. Maintenance work can also include urgent needs, like patching servers to respond to new security risks.

Solution: Connect Care has implemented a robust scheduled downtime process that ensures that the full and current medical record remains available throughout. Other tools allow things like orders to be captured and ordersets to be used. So, a scheduled downtime is less disruptive than downtimes experienced with other systems.

Downtime "windows" are scheduled monthly in the early hours of the morning. That does not mean that all windows will be used or that the full slot (usually 4 hours) will be used. Ensuring that there is monthly capability for any needed server update or maintenance also helps to maintain user awareness and competency; a good safety practice.

Inability to Launch Multiple Instances of Netcare within Connect Care

Problem: That the Netcare electronic health record can be launched in-context (opened to the same patient) within the Connect Care clinical information system is a great convenience. Netcare contains historical data going back further than Connect Care.

That Connect Care can manage multiple patient charts open at the same time is also convenient.

That Netcare can only be open in one Connect Care chart at a time is an annoyance. If Netcare has been opened within one Connect Care chart, then it must be closed before it can be opened in a second chart open within Connect Care at the same time that another chart is still open.

Considerations: Netcare launches within an internet browser control in Connect Care's hyperspace. Some slick informatics allows single-sign-on and automated patient lookup. However, Netcare is specifically designed to prevent more than one instance at a time. This is a safety measure. It prevents contamination of one Netcare chart display with information from a different chart.

Solution: The inability to open Netcare within more than one chart at a time is a 'feature' of the Netcare software. We do not anticipate this changing anytime soon. Prescribers wanting to open Netcare within Connect Care are advised to either open only one Connect Care chart at a time or to close Netcare before switching to a second opened Connect Care chart wherein Netcare is to be re-launched.

Why are Professional Billing claims delayed?

Problem: Physicians using full Connect Care professional billing services may have noticed delays in reimbursement from Alberta Health during December 2019. Those in alternate reimbursement plans (including AMHSP) will have noticed less, as their "shadow" billings do not immediately impact personal reimbursements. Nonetheless, delays are a worry. What happened?

Solution: While it is true that 1) professional billing volumes may have been temporarily reduced by productivity impacts of launch activities, 2) physicians learning a new system may not record charges with all requisite information, and 3) the naming of some billing codes needed revision... these understandable transition challenges were not the primary cause of December payment delays.

Alberta Health (primary source of payments) experienced an unplanned downtime of its professional payment system, resulting in delays to payments that were not related to the Connect Care system.

All Connect Care factors steadily improve, claims acceptance rates have returned to pre-launch norms for most physicians, and the AH downtime is over.

Who can help Specialty Services adapt Referral processes for Connect Care?

Problem: Specialty outpatient clinics may use Connect Care as their record of care without fully implementing referral management processes that use the clinical information system. This is a problem if the clinic has indicated that it is "internal" for referrals but has not set up intake messaging pools, assigned staff to work-queue monitoring, or coordinated staff and physician contributions. Referring prescribers will generate referral orders that do not achieve the intended result.

Solution: Outpatient speciality services that use Connect Care as the record of care are "internal" referral resources. It is important that they have "receptor capacity" with appropriate use of referral intake messaging pools, work-queue tracking and triage processes. These clinics should reach out to the Connect Care Patient Access Team (ClinicalOperations-Patient.Access@ahs.ca) to confirm that they are referral-orders-ready.

How to manage mis-directed In-Basket results.

Problem: Laboratory results, intervention reports, clinical notes or other patient information can occasionally get mis-directed. The affected prescriber may see Connect Care In-Basket notifications about patients that are not within the prescriber's circle of care. Indeed, reviewing this information inappropriately could constitute a privacy breach. What to do?

Considerations: In-Basket or Chat messages that link to patient health information should relate to patients with whom the receiving prescriber has, has had, or will have a care relationship (circle of care).

Mis-directed messages may relate to mis-identification (another provider selects the wrong physician to copy results to), mis-registration (clinic or admitting process incorrectly associates the patient with the wrong physician as an admitting, responsible, consulting, ordering or authorizing prescriber), mis-codification (use of incorrect physician ID, given recent introduction of new identifiers for laboratory results). Sometimes other physicians will copy colleagues as a professional courtesy (e.g., copying results of a family member); a practice that is no longer acceptable.

Solution: The Connect Care In-Basket has a "QuickActions" tool that allows prescribers to manage results received in error.


Select (click on) the In-Basket result notification and then look to the button bar at the top of the result display. The "QuickActions" pick-list is in the left-most position. There are two options:
  1. Not My Patient - if the result relates to a patient outside one's circle of care (as above).
  2. Not My Result - if the result relates to a patient that the receiving provider has had a care relationship with (in the circle of care) but the result should not have been routed to the Connect Care In-Basket (e.g., inpatient test result or otherwise should have been directed to a more responsible provider).
Clicking on either option will cause the In-Basket message to disappear. Medical records staff receive a notification so that a correction can be put in place and future mis-direction can be prevented. In addition, the physician is protected because privacy audits will take note and document that the physician did not review clinical material for a patient outside one's circle of care. 

Connect Care Fixes Review - December 19, 2019

By this point (almost 2 months post-launch), there are countless fixes and optimizations already in place. A few highlights are listed (and added to from time to time) here...
  • MAR Access: It was discovered that some Connect Care user groups, mainly trainees, have the ability to order medications but lack access to the Medication Administration Record (MAR) to review when which medications have been received by a patient. Medication review, including reorders and discontinuations, requires precise knowledge of the time and frequency of medication use. By applying a general principle --- that anyone who prescribes should have MAR access -- we believe that the trainee and other missed groups have been taken care of.
  • Spiritual Health and Indigenous Health Consults: Support is added to enable inpatient requests for spiritual care consults and indigenous health consults. The ordering process is analogous to requests for other health professional engagement. Documentation can also be filtered by contributions from these health care team members.
  • Notes from Clinical Staff: In addition to personal sticky notes and specialty notes, Notes to Clinical Staff can be useful for non-urgent prompts between teams (e.g., consider downgrading the vitals monitoring intensity). These are now prominently display on the Vitals flowsheet as well as the chart summary display.

Why is the Service Code Navigator showing stray Lab charges?

Problem: Many wave 1 Connect Care prescribers have noticed stray (not related to professional billing) "charges" appearing in the Service Code Navigator. It is not clear what these mean or if they will affect legitimate professional billing claims.


Solution: This configuration problem has been fixed with the December 12 system update. Please report any stray charges that appear after this date. Note that the prior charges had no impact on professional billings and required no action on the part of the prescriber.


Getting Ready for Downtime

As posted elsewhere, scheduled downtimes are required for quarterly clinical information system (CIS) updates. These are normally set for the early hours of the morning but can still affect clinical activities.

It is good practice to anticipate downtimes and ensure that one has access to the tools that allow continuity of care during and after a downtime. Take a few moments to check that a "PRDSRO" Connect Care icon is available via myapps.ahs.ca and use this to log on to Connect Care in read-only mode. This is how patient information will be accessed when the full CIS (PRD) is not available.


Unscheduled downtimes may involve loss of access to Connect Care servers. A business continuity application can be opened via an icon on clinical workstation desktops.


Try logging on to this as well, noting how it is possible to view patient chart summaries and other downtime tools.

For more information:

More Mobility Management Alerts

A number of iOS mobility users have recently received the following message on their device:


No worry. This message is safe and does not represent anything more than the alert that mobility management is in place; the same alert that occurred during the installation process for Haiku or Canto. Click 'Cancel' and all will continue as before.

We are investigating why the message appears now; possibly related to mobile device or mobility software updates.

Downtime Procedures for Physicians

A Clinical information system (CIS) can suffer performance degradation, or even a complete "downtime", affecting one or more of its critical functions. "Business continuity" relates to support of clinical and administrative workflows when CIS functions are compromised.

Connect Care downtime and recovery information is currently maintained at downtime.connect-care.ca where a downtime procedures manual is maintained.

The Connect Care Physician Manual support section about downtime procedures is recently updated, including an overview and FAQ about physician impacts.