Alberta Netcare

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Alberta Netcare is a successfully deployed single province-wide electronic medical record (EMR) system in Canada. It was developed in order to be a central repository of clinical data that can be produced anywhere within the province of Alberta [1].


The provincial EHR has been in development since 1999, evolving each year into the EHR we have today. The following is a summary timeline of key EHR developments.Alberta Netcare was developed by Alberta Health and Wellness (AHW) in cooperation with Alberta Health Services and other partners including health professional colleges and associations [2]. Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services (AHS) are jointly responsible for many of the e-health systems that comprise the Alberta EHR. This document, “An Overview of Alberta’s Electronic Health Record Information System”, was developed to summarize the Alberta EHR and the primary information systems which comprise it. For purposes of this document, Alberta EHR is also referred to as the Alberta Electronic Health Record Information System (EHRIS).

The system holds a secure lifetime record of key health information, and is a critical reference tool for Albertan health care professionals. Thus, it is not a patient's full health or medical record, but a supplement to patient care. The Alberta Netcare system captures several key data elements from health service providers around Alberta for inclusion in a patient's provincial electronic health record. These key elements include:

  • personal demographic information as a unique identifier
  • prescribed dispensed drugs
  • known allergies and intolerances
  • immunizations
  • laboratory test results
  • diagnostic imaging reports
  • other medical reports

Information Management

The information is then provided through Alberta Netcare EHR Portal for physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other authorized health service providers. It includes several decision support tools including:

  • drug to drug and drug to allergy interaction alerts to avoid prescriptions that conflict
  • a database of all available drugs and their common dosages
  • links to information support such as clinical guidelines from the Alberta Medical Association

Information is maintained by two methods:

  • Primarily, information is automatically accessed and captured from the existing electronic data systems of pharmacies, labs, diagnostic services and Alberta Health Services facilities. This means that this information is not re-keyed or re-entered by anyone, it is gathered from source systems.
  • Additionally, some information can be entered directly into a record by an Alberta Netcare authorized health service provider.

Patient Identifier

Electronic health records created and maintained by Alberta Netcare are indexed by a unique patient identifier, the Provincial Health Number. The PHN is assigned to a person who is eligible to receive services from Alberta Health and Wellness. This value is synonymous with the Unique Lifetime Identifier (ULI) assigned by Person Directory. (1)


1. Alberta Netcare EHR Portal

Comprised of several EHR products that have been developed to meet regional needs and the requirements of health service providers. These products are linked together to comprise the province-wide Alberta Netcare EHR Portal. Alberta Netcare EHR Portal is the enhanced version of Alberta Netcare Portal 2004. This release provides access to the full range of currently-available patient health information:

  • personal demographic information helps to uniquely identify each patient
  • prescribed dispensed drugs
  • known allergies and intolerances
  • immunizations
  • laboratory test results
  • diagnostic imaging reports
  • other medical reports

2. Alberta Netcare EHR Portal "system to system" (S2S) version

Integrates directly with some physician Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems. S2S allows data to be seamlessly accessed and transferred between these local systems and the provincial electronic health record.

3. Alberta Netcare Portal 2004

Provides access to basic patient information:

  • personal demographics to make it easy to identify and find patients
  • prescribed dispensed drugs, as well as known allergies and intolerances
  • some laboratory results


Alberta Netcare Access Project

Is an undergoing project currently in the design and build phase that will identify processes and technical solutions to improve the access provisioning for Alberta Netcare and other systems. This project will propose processes and technological solutions to support timely access to the EHR for new users[2]

Among the objectives of this project are:

  • Ensure that the proposed solutions satisfy the need of the users by establishing a working group
  • Delineate new access processes that coordinate with privacy and security policies
  • Conduct an assessment of current access processes;
  • Update Privacy and security policies and procedures access as required
  • Project for future phases of the initiative

Electronic Medical Record Support Services

Alberta Health and the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) are pleased to announce the continuance of EMR support services through the Alberta Health EHR Deployment team. These are a subset of the services previously offered by the Physician Office System Program (POSP), and have been provided by the AMA on an interim basis. The Funding Extension Program will continue to be delivered by the AMA.

The eHealth Support Team offers the following services:

  • Operations Advisory Services
  • Data Migration and Retention Advisory Services
  • Privacy and Security Advisory Services
  • 4. Training and Learning Advisory Services
  • 5. Support that will no longer be available (3)

AHW has put in place a number of other programs to address regional and specific provider needs. More information can be obtained at:

Alberta Netcare Enrolment Line 1-866-756-2647 toll free, or in Edmonton 780-642-4082, email:


  1. Pharmaceutical Information Network Data Set,
  2. Alberta Netcare
  3. Electronic Medical Record Support Services website,
  4. Alberta Netcare Access Project,