Inside Connect Care
In November, the ARD links became active within Connect Care, making it more convenient than ever to manage referrals. With a click of a button, physicians on the system can see a range of options for their patients.
Dr. Heidi Fell, Chair of the AMA Informatics Committee, is a leader in the work being done to create integrated information systems. She believes that patient care and physician well-being are both improved when more information is readily available while make care decisions.
“One of the core pillars of health care reform is the referral consultation process” explains Dr. Fell. “Patients need to be able to easily move through the health system, and the referral process should be straightforward for both referring physicians and specialist services. The enhanced referral directory and its addition to Connect Care are both steps in the right direction.”
Primary care physicians can access the ARD at albertareferraldirectory.ca, and they are encouraged to bookmark the search page for convenient access. While the ARD is easy to use, clinics can request for Path to Care to visit their offices to provide a quick learning session which covers all the unique features and benefits of the ARD.
The specialist services point of view
The ARD is fed by four information sources: The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, Alberta Health, Inform Alberta, and private services. All specialist consultants and service providers can update their own information, which helps ensure their referral processes are documented accurately.
Tricia Miller, South Zone Manager for Children’s Allied Health & Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, sees the changes in the ARD from the specialists’ point of view. She is particularly pleased with how the information in the ARD improves the accuracy and completeness of the referrals that come in. Much less time is spent on chasing down the right information.
“When a client, patient, or physician is looking for information, they can see what’s available as fast as they can type in the key words, and it helps them narrow down the right services,” says Tricia. “Physicians have access to everything they need to facilitate a straightforward referral. This is a good thing for our physicians and Albertans who could benefit from the services.”
Quality improvements in the ARD
Path to Care is committed to quality improvement in the ARD. There are nearly 4,000 searchable service profiles in the ARD, with a 91% average profile completeness rate. The team has a dedicated quality assurance resource reviewing the profiles for completeness, accuracy, and richness of information, and to ensure the profiles are aligned with those in Connect Care. This will allow physicians and patients to be confident that their referral has the right information, going to the right place, so that it can be accepted without delay.
Take a look at the ARD, and you’ll see just how much easier making referrals can be.
About Connect Care
Connect Care is the Alberta Health Services (AHS) provincial care transformation initiative. It is powered by a common provincial clinical information system that will replace most of the more than 1,300 existing systems across AHS.