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Calgary’s Next Economy: Access eHealth raises the level of care for Alberta’s seniors

As a licensed practical nurse (LPN), Mahmud Mustapha has seen the gaps in Alberta’s long-term care.

Undocumented care, patients missing medication and general patient safety risks were just some of those gaps. He’s worked as a nurse supervisor in long-term care locations in Calgary and Okotoks, so he saw first-hand the care issues with Alberta seniors.

He said a lot of it is still done with paper tracking. Health care aides carry a pad of paper with them to track what they’ve done. But, those papers get lost, mixed up, or left undocumented.

“In that way, because it’s a manual process, they miss a lot,” Mustapha said.

When you pair that with the medical needs of each patient, he said a better system was needed for these locations.

“Many of the residents of nursing homes, typically they have multiple chronic conditions -dementia, diabetes, osteoarthritis, kidney failure, heart failure or heart problems – they have multiple conditions,” he said.

Seeing and understanding those gaps helped him develop an electronic medical records system specifically geared towards the long-term care sector. Enter Access eHealth.

Mustapha is a trained physician

The Nigerian-trained doctor had practiced for 10 years in his home country before coming to Canada.

When arriving here, before he could practice again, he needed to conduct research and go through a recertification process. He tutored medical students while attending the University of British Columbia for two years.

“I was quickly looking for a way to get back into practice,” he said.

“So, I was like, ‘OK, I can’t be losing my clinical skills.”

That’s when he trained as an LPN, so he could get back into the medical mix.

While he was interning for his medical recertification, Mustapha did the LPN training.

“The LPN program is not putting pressure on me actually because my skills and knowledge is far beyond the level,” he said.

“But again, it’s something I just need to do to get quick to clinical practice.”

Once he completed that program he worked in long term care in BC’s lower mainland before moving to Calgary.

Electronic medical records

This is a growing industry, Mustapha said. The need is high.

When he saw how hard the care staff worked at the long-term care centres, while being understaffed, that’s when the idea clicked.

They needed to streamline the care for seniors – especially because it’s ongoing and often complex.

Going electronic, so the information was all held in one place – medications, last care, doctor’s visits. It was accessible for those who needed it to provide care. The electronic input reduces the potential errors because it’s documented on the spot.

Not only is there a benefit to the seniors, but a big benefit to the providers as well.

Any care that’s been missed or delayed can be a liability for providers, Mustapha said. This protects them as well.

There are telehealth and home care options available through the Access EHealth system. Many seniors can schedule their appointments with their doctors, and have their care tracked at home.

The care can be tracked by patients, family members, care providers and the medical executives.

It’s all to improve the quality of life for the thousands of seniors living with chronic health problems, as they enjoy their last years.

“I chose a medical career basically because I have a very strong passion for caring for people,” Mustapha said.