Clinician Builder Program Guide

What is the Connect Care Builder Program?

The Connect Care Builder Program (BP) is designed for clinicians who want to help configure and optimize the Epic clinical information system (CIS) system. The BP will establish the understanding, tools, processes and relationships needed for interested and qualified clinicians to become effective design contributors and change agents through all phases of the Connect Care initiative.

What do Builders do?

Builders promote good design and meaningful CIS use through deep involvement in Connect Care. They train for Epic Physician or Content Builder Certification and build organizational capacity for CIS customization, optimization, content development, testing and surveillance. Builders bridge clinical and technical mindsets by improving characterization of user needs while easing pathways to solutions. In short, Builders help organize the CIS user population and improve two-way communication between them and the Information Technology (IT) team members.

Builders are typically clinicians who enjoy being involved with the CIS-related projects with an eye on the broader goal of organizational improvement. They may have strong technical skills as well, though this is not an absolute requirement.

Why should you care?

All AHS clinical practice areas will transition to an integrated, continuum of care, digital health record over a 5-year period. This will fundamentally change clinical practice, education, inquiry and quality improvement in all care settings. An effective clinician engagement strategy promotes end-user organization, empowerment and accountability. Key to empowerment is building capacity to customize and adapt the CIS to better address clinical, quality improvement, safety, innovation and education goals. Builders gain the understanding, tools and relationships needed to be effective change agents. They can be invaluable members of clinical improvement initiatives.

If you are interested in becoming a Clinical Builder, please complete the Builder Expression of Interest form:

Builder Privileges

Clinical Builders will not be granted access to the AHS Epic build environment until receiving Clinical Content or Physician Builder Certification (Proficiency with Honors may be considered depending on the circumstance). Builder access will be conditional on completing at least 20 hours of building records in 12 months since certification, attending at least 2 Builder Community events per quarter, and participation in regular Application team meetings. This will be verified via an annual eLearning attestation.

A specific Connect Care security template is applied to Clinical Builders development and test environment user accounts. These limit Clinical Builders to the build activities for which they have been trained and endorsed. The accounts also apply to a Proof of Concept (POC) development environment where builders can build content and test out concepts. Builders retain their usual CIS roles in the enterprise production environment (Connect Care PRD).

Builder Responsibilities

The Clinical Builder role integrates end-user and IT interests. It requires close working relationships with IT, clinical colleagues and clinical staff. Builders must be able to balance accountability for specific clinical business needs with a provincial need for a safe and sustainable shared health record.

The Clinical Builder is expected to:

  • Undertake and complete appropriate "physician builder" or "clinical content builder" training and certification in order to understand system capabilities and limitations that relate to CIS customizations, adaptations and personalizations.

  • Work with colleagues across a zone-wide specialty or program to identify key CIS enhancement, customization or optimization requests.

  • Co-develop clinical content for use in Connect Care while:

      • Participating in project implementations as a content builder and/or subject matter expert;

      • Participating in project optimizations and enhancements as a content builder and/or subject matter expert;

      • Support clinicians, clinical superusers and other content builders post-implementation.

  • Consult with colleagues, other Builders and the IT team on opportunities for CIS meaningful use.

  • Support other Builders through buddy and mentoring relationships.

  • Participate in Connect Care user groups and communities of practice.

  • Participate in Connect Care governance committees and councils.

  • Maintain access to the Epic User Web and Epic Builder Web sites, participating as appropriate in information sharing and continuing education opportunities.

  • At least 1 day a week (0.2 FTE, 20% protected time) is required to qualify for ongoing support and recognition.

Build Scope

Through Epic Clinical Builder training, individuals will learn how to use and customize a wide range of tools. In doing some, the level of efforts and level of system impact can vary from tool to tools.

The following CIS customization tools are included within the potential scope of expertise and contribution of a trained, experienced and productive Connect Care PB:

  • SmartPhrases, SmartText, SmartLists

  • SmartSets, SmartGroups, Order Panels

  • Best Practice Advisories

  • Health Maintenance Reminders

  • Documentation Flowsheets and Questionnaires

  • Review Flowsheets and Synopsis Reports

  • Edits to Specialty Preference Lists for commonly changed elements, including: Chief Complaint, Diagnosis, Labs, Diagnostic Imaging, Panels, Other Orders, Billing Codes, and Medications.

The following CIS customization tools may be included with the scope of builder capabilities, subject to demonstrated competence and special approval:

  • SmartForms: These can affect SmartData elements and incur extra work at system upgrades.

  • Custom Navigators: These are discouraged at this time as the development and approval of specialty navigators will be strictly controlled, following a provincially standardized template. This allows for easier testing, maintenance and consistency for users who work in multiple settings.

  • System-level Change Requests: All system level change requests require governance review and approval before considering appropriate build and implementation.

Throughout the Builder’s journey, in order to minimize any unintended consequences on system build and to ensure that we maintain aligned to a tenant Connect Care principle of reducing unhelpful variations, Clinical Builders will initiate all build tasks through participation in the Clinical Builder Working Group.