October 2022
From the Primary Care Alliance

We have faced many changes in primary care in the past couple of years, but I believe some of the most important ones are yet come as we look to rebuild the health care system and improve upon the past. Those decisions will benefit from the value of your input and there are several ways you can be a part of influencing the outcomes. An important one is participating in the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) including the sections. The AMA is committed to engaging members on issues identified within the new agreement and each physician voice holds merit. 

In addition, connecting with, or reconnecting with your fellow family physicians bears its own reward. Some of those opportunities include: The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Family Medicine Forum coming up shortly in Toronto; in Alberta the Primary Care Network Strategic Forum November 24, 25, 26 in Edmonton; and the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) Family Medicine Summit in January, 2023.
You may also find the ACFP’s Collaborative Mentorship Network (see articles below) a great place to link up and discuss issues with others. 

I look forward to connecting with you at some of these events and around the discussion tables as we work at addressing the challenges in health care together and with our system partners. 

Dr. Brad Bahler
Primary Care Alliance

ACTT training now available to access through Learn@AMA!

All current training offerings from the Accelerating Change Transformation Team (ACTT) are now available on the Learn@AMA platform. Learn@AMA is the Alberta Medical Association’s on-demand learning platform for current and future training. ACTT’s training offerings focus on supporting healthcare system transformation priorities. Key audiences include physicians, clinics, Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and other healthcare system stakeholders. There is training available for different needs and roles with more curriculums continuing to be added.
We encourage you to take a look at what’s available and register for anything that fits your needs.
To get started learners require a Learn@AMA account.
Learn more about ACTT training at the link below. 

Reduced PIA Rates for CII/CPAR

Keeping your clinic’s Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) up to date enables your practice to identify and mitigate potential privacy and security risks. To participate in CII/CPAR, a clinic must have an up to date PIA that reflects the clinic’s current EMR and privacy policies. The AMA has compiled a list of privacy consultants who can assist your community-based clinic to create or update your PIA.

For a limited time, a number of PIA consultants are offering reduced rates for clinics that have submitted a
CII/CPAR Confirmation of Participation (COP) and have been informed they need to update their PIA.

These consultants and companies are not endorsed or vetted by the AMA.

Let’s meet on Thursdays
Thursday nights are now home to two of the Alberta College of Family Physicians’ popular webinar series — the Collaborative Mentorship Network Virtual Collaboration Forums and the ACFP Virtual Education Series. Partake in quality CPD on sought-after topics including chronic pain, quality improvement, addiction, billing codes, harm reduction, and more.

To register and learn more about the upcoming schedule, visit ACFP Webinars at the link.
Doc Blog - “Medicine for the Gender Spectrum” by Dr. Charissa Ho

“For most of us, there was very little
(if any) exposure to transgender medicine or people who identify as gender diverse during our training. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to locum for Dr. James Makokis.”

Read the latest blog from the ACFP’s First Five Years in Family Practice Committee on “Medicine for the Gender Spectrum”. 

COVID-19 Resources 

Reminder: influenza immunization
Alberta’s 2022/23 Influenza Immunization Program launched on October 17, offering influenza immunization free of charge to all Albertans six months of age and older. Albertans can book their influenza immunization appointments online to stay healthy, protect others and reduce pressure on Alberta’s healthcare system. If patients have general questions about influenza immunization, AHS is advising them to check the AHS website, call 811, or contact their local pharmacy or doctor’s office to find out about influenza immunization. Note that it is safe to get the influenza immunization and COVID-19 bivalent booster dose or vaccine at the same time. For individuals five years of age and older, the influenza vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered at the same appointment using different injection sites on the body. For more information read this document, or refer to the AHS Influenza Immunization for Health Professionals page. Email PHC@AHS.ca with any questions.

Reminder: no-cost RAT tests available  
A reminder that primary healthcare providers can order Rapid Antigen Tests from AHS at no cost by using this order form. Questions: PHC@ahs.ca

Connect Care Launch 5 scheduled for November 6
The Connect Care Launch 5, scheduled for November 6 affects sites in Calgary and Central Zone. Make sure you use your Connect Care identifiers on your requisitions to continue to receive laboratory and diagnostic imaging results to your community clinic without disruption. Community providers will receive clinical documentation from Connect Care via their electronic medical record, mail and/or fax.
Providers who work both within Alberta Health Services and in a community or private practice (mixed-context providers), may need to manage some unique information flows that relate to clinical documentation and results delivery.
For more detailed information, please refer to:
What community providers need to know for Connect Care Launch 5 (albertahealthservices.ca)
The technology of transitions: get the facts
If you’re looking for information on how IT systems like Connect Care, CII/CPAR, Netcare and eDelivery can help improve transitions in care, check out this new fact sheet and FAQ document—created by the Home to Hospital to Home Transitions Guideline team at AHS, along with the Alberta Medical Association’s Accelerating Change Transformation Team. Questions: PHC@AHS.ca.
The FAST update
The FAST (Facilitated Access to Specialized Treatment) program is now available in every health zone. FAST is a central access and intake program for referrals to surgical specialists. Since the summer, it has been expanding across the province. Close to 9,000 referrals have been received since Aug. 15. The FAST program currently accepts orthopedic and urology referrals (with additional specialties available in Edmonton through the existing FAST program). Other surgical specialties will be added over time.
Referring providers can use the new provincial urology and orthopedics and spine
referral pathways. These pathways contain important information – like instructions, labs and diagnostic imaging – required with referrals. Provincial referral forms for urology and orthopedics are also coming later this fall.
Watch for more information on when they will be available in community physicians’ EMRs.
Please submit any issues encountered by email to the appropriate Zone FAST office for resolution. You  can also phone 1-833-553-3278 (833-553-FAST) with any questions.
Visit the Alberta Surgical Initiative’s Specialty Access
web page for the most up to date details and all contact information.
Are you interested in testing a shared care plan template? 
If you answered yes, are you able to test the template with at least three complex patients over a four-to-six-month period using one of four EMRs (MedAccess, PS Suite, Healthquest or Accuro)? If so, you may be interested in participating in a one:carepath pilot.
One:carepath is a patient-first, disease-inclusive approach to integrating supportive care in the Patient’s Medical Home, through careful attention to symptom management, determining patient’s values and preferences for care, and timely transitions to a more conservative approach to care. The focus is on optimizing the quality of life for patients with advanced/decompensated/non-curative lung, heart, liver and kidney disease or solid organ cancers. 
For more information refer to the one:carepath
Pilot Overviewor to get involved contact either Lynn Toon or Kirby Scott.
Kidney disease pathway testing opportunity
The Physician Learning Program and Medicine Strategic Clinical Network are looking for primary care physicians currently practicing in Alberta to spend approximately one hour to test a draft Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD) Pathway. Physicians will be compensated for their time according to established AMA rates. Read more, or contact Michelle Cheng.
Chronic Pain Gains – Don’t Miss the Last Two!
There’s still time to register for the final two sessions of the Alberta College of Family Physicians’ Collaborative Mentorship Network ECHO series. On November 2, join Dr. Lori Montgomery presenting on Pain Assessment for a Busy Community Practice and on November 16, join Dr. Kelly Shinkaruk presenting on Ketamine and Pain. Register today.

Alberta Medical Association
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