Dr. Barney Truong has a rather large immigrant patient population who do not speak English and, as a result, is quite aware of gaps of information flow in our healthcare system. His patients at his family practice in Calgary cannot fill in the gaps due to language barriers. 

As physicians we understand the disconnect between the community and the hospital in terms of information flow and sometimes it seems like we work in two completely different systems. Netcare is supposed to be a big part of that bridge but there are still gaps in that system. Community Information Integration/Central Patient Attachment Registry (CII/CPAR) is a big step in the direction of bridging that gap.

Early last year Dr. Truong’s clinic started participating in CII/CPAR. Now he shares who his regular family practice patients are with the health system and receives reports, called eNotifications, in his clinic EMR when they are admitted or discharged from hospital, discharged from ED or have day surgery. He also shares select information from his EMR to their Netcare record where patients have a new document called a Community Encounter Digest.

Here is the story of one of his patients:

I have an 88-year-old Vietnamese lady in my practice. She’s hearing impaired, visually impaired, doesn’t speak any English and lives with her daughter and son-in-law who both do not speak English and they are her primary care givers. She also has dementia. She has a long history of bronchiectasis and recurrent lung infections and we’ve tried to limit the number of antibiotics she uses but still ends up requiring a few courses a year. We send off cultures so that we are guiding treatment but, despite that, she still ends of cycling through multiple antibiotics throughout the year. One time, a few years ago, she was given levofloxacin and developed a severe rash throughout her body, and I remember telling her and her family that they should inform anyone she sees that she is allergic to fluoroquinolones and just feeling nervous and uneasy about the whole situation because I am relying on the patient and her family for a rather crucial piece of health information and hoping that they could fill in the information gap. When Covid happened, it made me even more nervous, because, if she was hospitalized, her family members wouldn’t have been able to be with her due to restrictions making the situation even more tenuous.

So, by participating in CII/CPAR, I can input that information into Netcare so that other physicians and healthcare providers have access to that information. So not only do we gain information about our patients through information like eNotifications, but we can also now share information out which has been a huge bonus for our clinic. This is just one example, but I have many examples of patients in similar situations where I have noticed the benefit of sharing a bit of information that can be crucial.

Dr. Truong is just one of hundreds of community physicians sharing information with Alberta Netcare for continuity of care. Specialty care providers can select consult reports from their EMR and at a click share them with Netcare.

Do you have patients with communication barriers in your clinic and would like to contribute to their Netcare record to inform other providers who care for your patient?
Tell your Primary Care Network that you are interested in CII/CPAR or email continuity@albertadoctors.org

If you are a specialty care provider and write consult reports and would like to share them with Netcare email cii-specialty@albertadoctors.org