Choosing the Right Login Department (Context)
When logging on to Connect Care, one must select a "Department" to proceed. This is an Epic "Department," not what one might normally consider a department in the organization one belongs to. Each CIS department is configured to ensure that the user is presented with an appropriate user interface, and that lists match what is locally available (e.g., medications, procedures).
Determining the appropriate login department can pose a challenge for prescribers. Unlike other healthcare providers who may work primarily in one location, prescribers frequently see patients in multiple settings and care contexts (e.g., outpatient, inpatient, emergency). Happily, specialty-specific "virtual departments" are deployed in Connect Care. These allow most prescribers to select the same CIS department for all the work they do, since the virtual department has the needed configuration for both outpatient and inpatient tasks.
Login Department Names
The Connect Care list of login departments includes all possible groupings for Alberta, arranged in alphabetical order. Such a lengthy list can be hard to browse.
The Connect Care department naming convention uses AHS standard acronyms for locations (e.g., EDM UAH) plus function-specific keywords (e.g., INFECTION CONTROL). After one has used personally relevant login departments, these are automatically saved as favourites, with the most recently used department defaulted at login. In short, a little time may be required to first find the appropriate login department(s) needed, but no time thereafter.
The following tools give access to full listings of AHS CIS departments, with supplemental information that can help troubleshoot department choice challenges:
Department Selection for Prescribers
Prescribers Working in a Single Specialty
Physicians and other prescribers to provide health services related to a primary specialty should look for the name of their specialty's "virtual department" for the zone that they work in (e.g., "EDMONTON ZONE GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE") and log in to this department for all clinical contexts. This includes consulting work in the emergency room, outpatient clinic work and any inpatient work.
Prescribers Alternating between Multiple Specialties
Prescribers who work in multiple facilities or specialties with access to different navigators and other tools need to ensure their login includes selection of the correct department for the clinical work they anticipate during a Connect Care session. Prescribers have access to all the departments (contexts) that they might need; their most frequently selected departments will appear on a quick-select list, sparing them from doing a look-up after the first few department switches.
Some work mixes raise unique multi-department considerations:
Prescribers who work in more than one specialty in a hospital, emergency room or clinic (e.g., critical care and trauma team) may need to change login departments in order to access specific tools (e.g., surgery OpTime functions).
Note that some Epic modules depend upon the role or "job" one logs on to. Few physicians have more than one "job" and need to beware of Prescriber Roles instructions.
It is easy to change contexts (departments), even after login. This is done on the fly by using the "Change Context" option appearing in the Log Out (top right) drop-down pick-list.