EDMONTON -- Health care in Alberta is set to jump into the 21st century on Sunday.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is set to launch Connect Care, which will be a new system that will house all AHS medical records, prescriptions and care history at AHS facilities.

It’s a move away from a system that relies on paper records and notes, which AHS considered an out-of-date practice.

"We are making sure that the patient’s story remains in tact, is unbroken everywhere they go," said Robert Hayward, chief medical information officer. 

More than 19,000 users, including 3,000 physicians have undergone training for the past several months in anticipation of Sunday’s launch.

"This is vastly more secure, it has more privacy protections than any system we’ve been able to use in the province of Alberta before and you know what, it’s a lot more secure than paper," said Hayward. 

AHS has also set up a command centre that will be available 24/7 to respond to any concerns, issues or questions that may come up.

The first launch will include AHS sites and programs primarily in the Edmonton zone, with the entire program being implemented across Alberta by late 2022.

The lengthy launch is meant to address concerns and fix issues if they appear, as well as letting AHS learn and adapt the system before it goes province-wide.

The cost to implement Connect Care will be approximately $1.39 billion over a five year design, build and implementation period.

The provincial government has committed $400 million to support the system, which was announced by the previous NDP government.

The remainder of costs will be funded internally through existing AHS operations and contributions from AHS operating areas.

Before Connect Care, AHS had more than 1,300 independent health information systems in place across the province.