Do Connect Care Users have an Information Manager Agreement?

Question: How should physicians respond when asked about an information manager agreement for use of a electronic record?

Answer: It's that time of year again. College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) practice permit renewals are due in just over a month. Many physicians will be completing their annual surveys. A survey section entitled "medical records" asks if the respondent shares patient information with other physicians and if an Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) is in place. Connect Care users may not know how to respond. We suggest:

Unfortunately, the CPSA standard respecting Information Sharing Agreements dates back to 2009 and has not been updated to reflect the advent of clinical information systems (CIS) capable of supporting the record of care across a continuum of care. The CPSA is aware and will be updating its annual survey for the next cycle.

Know that the CPSA participated in the development of the Clinical Information Sharing Approach (CISA) for Connect Care. This meets CPSA requirements and is an accepted surrogate for an ISA. CISA includes an Information Sharing Compact that all participating physicians must uphold.

Information Sharing Agreement: When asked if an ISA exists, say "Yes".

Custody of Patient Records: When asked if a written agreement exists to maintain custody and control of your patient records, you can answer "Yes" since this is provided for in Connect Care business continuity and most specialty group arrangements.

EMR Use: When asked if you currently use an Electronic Medical Record (EMR), select "Yes" and pick "Clinical Information Systems" as the type of EMR.

Level of EMR Use: When asked "What is the level of your EMR use?", you can select Level 5 as Connect Care is designed for shared care and has a full patient portal.

Control over EMR Use: When asked "How much control do you have over the EMR?", you can select the second option "Shared Custody and Control" since physicians actively customize Connect Care through Area Councils, Specialty Workgroups and User Groups. In addition, there are extensive personalization controls available to physician users.

Level of Netcare Use: When asked "What is the level of your Netcare use?", you can select Level 3 because Netcare PIN data can be imported and integrated into Connect Care and Connect Care shares summative information back to Netcare.

1 comment:

  1. A colleague rightly points out that the CPSA survey medical records section will be hard for multi-setting physicians to complete for two additional reasons:

    1. The root question asks if the physician stores health information outside an AHS facility, with a hidden presumption that AHS provisioned clinical information systems only pertain inside a facility. However, Connect Care is already widely used in facilities not operated by AHS or operated under a hybrid business arrangement.

    2. Medical record questions are meant to relate to a "primary practice location".

    Many physicians work in multiple settings. A CIS might be the record of care in inpatient, day surgery, or certain outpatient contexts while an independent EMR is the record of care for another outpatient setting. It may not be clear which is "primary".

    We suggest that physicians using Connect Care, even just when in one of their clinic contexts, answer the rest of the questions with reference to Connect Care. The point of the survey is to gauge how health information systems are advancing in the province. The Connect Care clinical information has the most advanced features, reach, integration and care coordination.


Please feel free to offer additional perspectives and suggestions.