A Sustainable Health System Supported by Technology
Kitchener – December, 2014
Meet Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia, WWLHIN Enabling Technologies (eHealth) Physician Lead
For Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia, the need to help people began when he was 11 years old. At that young age, Mohamed’s grandmother – at the end of her life – was very sick for a number of years. He witnessed the care his grandmother received both at home and in hospital. “I saw how physicians, nurses and other health care providers took care of my grandmother. That experience showed me how rewarding it can be to care for someone.”
The quest to help others led Mohamed to study for an Honours Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry at the University of Toronto in 2000. He graduated as a Medical Doctor from the University of Western Ontario in 2008. Two years later, he obtained Certification in Family Medicine from McMaster University. You can describe Mohamed as a continuous learner as he is currently studying for a Master of Science, Health Informatics at the University of Victoria.
A renowned eHealth leader, Mohamed wears many hats. Since 2011, he is the Director of the eHealth Centre of Excellence at The Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team in Kitchener. His other portfolios at the Centre include being an Executive Lead, Advancing and Leveraging the Investment Value of EMRs (ALIVE) and Executive Lead, Waterloo Wellington Connecting South West Ontario (cSWO). cSWO’s goal is to implement a regional eHealth program that makes an individual’s health information from across the continuum of care available in a timely and secure fashion at any point of care.
Mohamed is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo. He also helps to run a Refugee Health Clinic.
Since December 2013, Mohamed is the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) Enabling Technologies Physician Lead. In his role, he collaborates with the WWLHIN and the Enabling Technologies Project Management Office Team to help implement eHealth initiatives.
“One of our major successes in Waterloo Wellington is that 4,000 clinicians and staff can now view patient information in one secure location. Currently, more than 70 per cent of hospitals across South Western Ontario are providing data to ClinicalConnect™, along with all four south west CCACs. ClinicalConnect™ is a secure online web portal that provides physicians and clinicians with real-time access to their patients' electronic medical information from regional hospitals, Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) and Oncology Centres.”
Mohamed went on to say that ClinicalConnectTM which is a voluntary system, is achieving greater benefits for residents: “Health care providers can access patient information in real time which means patients don’t have to repeat their story, they don’t have to repeat tests or wait one week to get their pathology results or discharge summary. Getting the information quickly is important as patients are not anxiously waiting for their results.”
He also pointed out that quicker access to online information saves time for everyone and that means physicians and nurse practitioners are able to see more patients. “We know that primary care is the hub of our health system. If more people have access to primary care, it drives down costs; it enhances preventative care which leads to a better health system.”
Asked what he would like to see in the future with regards to health information technology, Mohamed said: “From a patient perspective, I would like to see a seamless transition from one care setting to another where their information is available at any point of care so that they can get appropriate care, at the right time, and in the right place. That is why it’s important to have a sustainable health system supported by technology.”
Mohamed is no stranger to awards. He has won a number of awards related to eHealth including the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario Bright Light Award for Leveraging Technology to Improve Quality and Efficiency of Care. He has been invited to talk about a number of different eHealth topics at the regional physician education series, national and international conferences and research meetings.
When Mohamed is not at work, there are two things he is passionate about – family and sport. He enjoys spending time with his wife and their three young girls. He plays recreational soccer twice a week: “I have to practice what I preach as I tell my patients to stay active. Being active helps me to wind down and keep fit.”
For more information:
Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia
Director, eHealth Centre of Excellence, The Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team, Kitchener N2H 5R2