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 or any of its dependencies (e.g., enterprise content management, dictation), 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.
Sometimes systems that Connect Care depends upon may unexpectedly go down or otherwise not function as needed. The CIS remains up but one or more dependencies (e.g., scanning, printing, dictation, wireless) may be affected. Such problems trigger a "major incident", which is managed by established team and protocol.
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)
Scheduled downtimes are planned. Notification is sent in advance and outages are brief. The fall end of Daylight Savings Time is always a scheduled downtime, allowing information in the "lost hour" to be managed.
Physicians should review instructions in the physician downtime essentials tip:
The production (PRD) Connect Care environment is unavailable during a downtime. However, a read-only (PRDSRO) environment is available and provides access to current patient information. Netcare also remains available.
Physicians should try to defer non-urgent orders or documentation until after a planned downtime ends.
Essential orders can be recorded on pink order sheets from Downtime Toolkits, available at all clinics, nursing units and other practice settings. These will be entered to Connect Care by support staff after the downtime completes.
Essential documentation can be recorded to paper, also from the Downtime Toolkit, which will be attached to the chart by support staff post-downtime.
Note that all blood product related orders must be phoned in to transfusion services.
Those with eScription accounts can dictate longer documents (e.g., admission history & physical), being sure to provide the pMRN (medical record number), patient name, birthdate and CSN (use 10 9s: 9999999999).
After a downtime, physicians should consider validating orders and documentation.
Secondary 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 may require periodic maintenance. The interface software may require periodic maintenance.
Instructions specific to support system scheduled and unscheduled downtimes are included in the downtime resources listed below.
Unscheduled downtime is unexpected and warnings typically are not given. PRDSRO may be available and the above steps can be followed by physicians. If PRDSRO is not available, other backups can be used.
A business continuity web application (BCA Web) provides access to essential clinical information, reports and utilities to help manage a downtime should PRD and PRDSRO be unavailable. Icons for this cloud-based service may be seen on Connect Care workstations.
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.
Connect Care downtime and recovery information is currently maintained at downtime.connect-care.ca (Insite), where a downtime procedures manual is maintained. If the website should become unavailable, contact the IT Service Desk and Solution Centre (1-877-311-4300) to get copies of downtime guides.
Prescriber-specific Downtime Guidance
General Downtime Guidance
Patient Portal (MyAHS Connect) Guidance
Secondary System Downtimes