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.