Downtime Procedures for Prescribers and Medical Leaders
This section provides essential information that prescribers and medical leaders need to know before, during and after a downtime. Background information on the different types of downtimes can be found in the bottom section of this page. For additional resources during a major incident, see the Major Incident section.
DURING DOWNTIME - Essential Information for Prescribers (click to expand/collapse)
START HERE – Quick Information
Bookmark or save the tip sheet on downtime essentials:
For up-to-date information on an upcoming/current downtime, see the Connect Care Bytes blog or status page on Insite:
In the event that SRO (backup read-only) access is also affected, prescribers should go to a facility unit where (most of) their patients are found and work with the ward clerk or other care team member using standalone backup computers (BCA computers) for patient information.
For information on how to access printable versions of order sets during a downtime, see this tip sheet:
For additional questions on downtime procedures, see this FAQ:
Below are resources for third-party systems, environments or situations that have additional downtime procedures (e.g., how to order blood products during a WellSky vs. Epic downtime):
PLANNING DOWNTIME - Essential Information for Medical Leaders (click to expand/collapse)
Resources for Planning for Downtime
It is important for medical leaders to be aware of and involved in local planning for downtime. The following resources can be used as a guide and reference for downtime planning, starting with the 1-page Byte.
Education Tools for Downtime
The below tool can be used to support awareness and preparation of colleagues/department/division for future downtime.
As the Connect Care clinical information system needs periodic maintenance, a regularly scheduled downtime window is set up for the second Thursday of the month from 00:30 to 04:30, in the event that it is needed.
The next confirmed scheduled downtime can be seen on Insite's Connect Care Downtime Procedures page (second grey box on righthand side of page). A notice on the Connect Care Bytes blog is posted at least 48 hours prior to each confirmed scheduled downtime.
ANTICIPATING DOWNTIME - Background Information (click to expand/collapse)
A clinical information system (CIS) can suffer performance degradation, or even a complete "downtime", affecting one or more of its critical functions. Service interruptions can be planned (maintenance) or unplanned; and can relate to the CIS itself (primary) or any of its dependencies (secondary, e.g., enterprise content management, dictation, blood product management), infrastructure (e.g., servers, networks, workstations, devices) or infostructure (e.g., operating systems, interfaces, databases).
"Business continuity" is about supporting clinical and administrative workflows when CIS functions are compromised.
Scheduled downtimes are planned. Notification is sent in advance and outages are brief. The production (PRD) Connect Care environment is unavailable during scheduled downtimes. However, a read-only (PRDSRO) environment or a business continuity web application (BCA Web) is available to provide access to essential clinical information, reports and utilities. Netcare usually remains available.
The fall end of Daylight Savings Time may be a scheduled downtime, allowing information in the "lost hour" to be managed.
Unscheduled downtime is unexpected and warnings typically are not given. PRDSRO may be available. If PRDSRO is not available, other backups can be used such as BCA Web. Icons for these services may be seen on Connect Care workstations and via "myapps.ahs.ca" for personal devices. Note the PRDSRO icon may be named “PRD – Downtime” in the desktop menu.
In addition, all practice settings will have at least one workstation (BCA PC) that has a recent copy of Connect Care charts and summaries relevant to the setting. This workstation is connected to backup power, as is the printer that can be used to generate chart summaries, schedules and other supports.
Rarely, Connect Care or other systems that it depends on may unexpectedly go down or otherwise not function as needed. In some cases, Connect Care may remain up but one or more dependencies (e.g., scanning, printing, dictation, wireless) may be affected. If such a problem meets the below criteria, it triggers a "major incident" (MI), which is managed by an established team and protocol.
Affects a large number of users, and/or essential service and/or business unit where there is no available resolution or workaround to provide a return to business operations; and/or
Includes patient safety risks, real or potential risks to the effectiveness of patient care, safety of AHS staff and personnel, impact to confidentiality or reliability of data, or degradation of a service including data, applications, or infrastructure
Connect Care users who witness what might be an unrecognized problem should immediately contact helpdesk (help.connect-care.ca or 1-877-311-4300) to submit the concern. Indicate suspected major incident. Problems already recognized will be acknowledged (with mitigation instructions) for all users by one or more of the following channels:
Bulletin Banner at the top of this Manual (bar with message appears at top of all pages)
Alert pop-up visible during the Connect Care login process
Fan-out communications (email, fax) appropriate to the groups most affected
Update to Connect Care status page (status.connect-care.ca)
For additional resources for support during an MI, see the Major Incident section of this Manual.
Third-party health information systems provide Connect Care with important clinical data through information interfaces, but are not necessary for core Connect Care functions. Examples include medical devices, such as electrocardiogram recorders, that use interface software to upload information that Connect Care incorporates into the patient chart. The support system or interface software may require periodic maintenance.