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.