Question: With Alberta Health announcing availability of another secure messaging service for patients and physicians, what does this mean for users of the Connect Care clinical information system?
Context: Alberta Health has contracted with Telus to make secure patient-physician messaging services more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic; with BrightSquid the selected provider. An offering, branded as "MHR Secure Mail", is available at no cost to participating physicians until July 31, 2020. This will be promoted to Albertans. Patients may wonder whether or when they should use BrightSquid. Physicians may wonder when to use an existing AHS messaging system and when to use BrightSquid. The systems currently do not interoperate.
Answer: AHS strongly supports secure messaging solutions that meet regulatory requirements for messaging between patients and their physicians. This BrightSquid service promoted by Alberta Health until July 31, 2020, is one of many options. AHS supports physicians choosing a solution that best meets their practice requirements... and making sure that they have the required Privacy Impact Assessment addendum in place.
Physicians with independent clinics may elect to use the BrightSquid system alongside their existing electronic or paper records. Where AHS bears responsibility for the record of care (EMR or CIS), physicians should use AHS within-system secure patient communication tools or, failing that, AHS Secure Email.