Hello from a snowy and icy 53.5° north latitude. It seems like each year we get freezing rain and snow early in the winter which means we end up suffering through icy, bumpy sidewalks all winter. Let's just say that 2019 did not ditch that trend and as a result, I should have had my studded tires on for the ride in to work on Friday.
You will notice that there was no post last week. This was due to the overwhelming crush of work for the launch of our new system. More on that below. Beyond that, there wasn't much to report so sit back, relax, and enjoy a few paragraphs on what has consumed most of my waking hours in the last several weeks, and most of my working hours for the last three years.
3, 2, 1, ...
For the past three years, my team has been preparing for the launch of the new clinical information system (CIS) at Alberta Health Services along with several other teams from across the organization. We wanted to make sure that every process we ran, every report that we produced, every requirement we had, was built into the CIS. We also said that if we didn't do something for CIS, then we didn't need to do it for anything else and we would therefore drop it from our workload.
The CIS vendor selected was Epic and the clinical transformation program built around the Epic platform became branded as Connect Care. We are a large organization and as a result what we launched last Sunday at 04:00 was just the first of a nine wave launch. As this story summarizes, Wave 1 is primarily concentrated in Edmonton’s Walter C. McKenzie health campus and laboratories, which includes the University of Alberta Hospital, Stollery Children’s Hospital and Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, among others.
The launch was not without drama though. The nurses union expressed "grave concerns" about the level of training and education received in advance of launch. Then a few days after launch, issues with delivery of lab results were noticed, and one physician alerted the media about the issue. Nothing is perfect of course, but I am proud of what we did to get to this point. Next week I plan to start a multi-week review of what my team did to prepare for Connect Care in the last three years. For now, congratulations to all of my colleagues who were involved in the successful launch!.
Just two new beers this past fortnight. The first was the Hudson Bay ISA from Smithers Brewery. Lots of grapefruit pith to add some dryness, with a nice hazy look, and a faint citrus aroma. Good stuff. (3.75 / 5) That got me the Veteran's Day (2019) and Pale as the Moon (Level 11) badges on Untappd. The second beer was the Wonder Star Botanical Lager from Flying Monkeys. I really liked this one since it had so much flavor. Smelled like Wine Gums, tasted like Red Lifesavers. (4.0 / 5). That one got me the Brewery Pioneer (Level 44) and The Great White North (Level 88) badges on Untappd.
Here is a picture of the Bernard Snell Hall in the University of Alberta Hospital. We have spent a lot of hours in this auditorium leading up to launch of the system, and even more in the last week as it hosts two of our bigger daily meetings. This picture was taken last Saturday afternoon before launch, and the quiet and emptiness of the room was haunting as I stood there.