Canada's Alberta Health Services signs $459 million contract for Epic EHR
After almost one year of consultation with hundreds of physicians, staff and patients, Alberta Health Services is poised to lay the groundwork for a system-wide EHR from Wisconsin-based Epic Systems.
AHS operates 400 facilities across the province, which is one Canada’s western provinces. The facilities include hospitals, clinics, continuing care facilities, mental health facilities and community health sites.
Rather than referring to the technology as an EHR, Alberta Health Services executives refer to it as CIS, for Clinical Information Systems. AHS executives have named the CIS “Connect Care.” The initial work is expected to begin soon and continue over five years.
Today the health authority operates more than 1,300 information systems, many of which are badly outdated, unconnected and expensive to maintain.
Verna Yiu, AHS president and CEO noted on the website that the CIS would serve as a hub that can be accessed by both the care providers and the patients. On the provider side, the CIS would be accessible in all clinical care areas, including hospitals, ambulatory clinics and continuing care centers.
Patients will have access to their health information and appointment setting via Epic’s My Chart patient portal.
The AHS Provincial CIS will support Connect Care, an AHS-led initiative to transform healthcare delivery in the province.
“Healthcare providers will have consistent tools to use with patients and families, Barb Kathol, senior program officer for clinical information systems,” said in an interview with Yio, which is posted on the Connect Care website. “They will be able to see a consolidated problem list and understand the patient perspective. They’ll be able to have clinical knowledge support as they’re providing care and will also eventually have data about our health system that we don’t currently have.
AHS will have wireless services at all AHS facilities to enable site staff and physicians to wirelessly access the secure AHS network and to provide free wifi for patients and families.