Alberta Health Services Image and Report Repositories

Distributing Imaging Records to Thousands

Alberta Health Services (AHS), one of the world’s largest health authorities, created repositories of medical records information for the use by authorized clinicians through the provincial Netcare Electronic Health Records portal. The information includes (but is not limited to) pharmacology, laboratory, physician notes, and diagnostic imaging reports and images.

Since the majority of health care spending in Alberta is through primary care, the reports and images from diagnostic imaging clinics is a key element for a complete electronic health record. In 2007, after AltaPACS converted Mayfair and EFW into digital operations, AHS sought a partner to develop a solution to transmit all private community clinic reports and images in real time to the repositories which ultimately posted to Netcare. Given that Mayfair and EFW encompassed over 80% of all clinical volumes in Calgary, AHS chose to work with AltaPACS as its partner.

The design introduces patient identity validation upon registration of the patient at a Mayfair or EFW clinic, using a query to an Enterprise Master Patient Index. Once an order has been validated with the correct patient match, any subsequent report is sent electronically within 10 minutes of dictation and is then instantly available in Netcare. Images are forwarded in a similar fashion within 15 minutes, using technology to suspend and delay any image transmission unless there is a patient identity match.

The design was implemented in 2009 and shared with other community providers, and today well over 98% of all community clinic reports and images in the Province of Alberta are forwarded to AHS repositories in real time.