The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre is joining Connect Care, a province-wide electronic medical record system, next month.
While Connect Care has been implemented across many Alberta Health Services (AHS) sites over the last few years, Ponoka hospital will be going live with the system on Nov. 6.
The release in Ponoka was delayed due to the pandemic but now that the launch date is here it is expected to improve patient care, according to Dr. Gregory Sawisky with the Battle River Medical Clinic.
“While there are always growing pains with any change, once it’s implemented and we are live we anticipate being able to have more information at our disposal more quickly with Connect Care,” said Sawisky.
Sawisky wants to caution people that the roll out will temporarily slow down the emergency department.
“There is going to be some on-boarding time so if you are seeking assistance at the Ponoka hospital’s emergency department from Nov. 6, forward, please bear in mind that your wait time will likely increase,” he said.
Given that the emergency department is seeing some significant visitations, Sawisky is encouraging people to access care at the Battle River Medical Clinic, their pharmacist or 811.
However, Dr Sawisky stresses that anyone experiencing a medical emergency will always be seen and assessed appropriately.
“Emergencies will still be dealt with appropriately and cases that are non-emergent in nature may end up waiting longer,” he said.
Sawisky is hopeful that the anticipated slow-down will ease up as staff become more fluent in the system.
“Once we have had a chance to work with the system for a while I expect that it will speed up certain aspects of our ability to care for patients.”