A new approach
There are a growing number of health professionals who are starting to feel torn between their patients’ needs and the system they’re working in. Maybe you’re one of them.
Being a healthcare provider has never been more difficult. As the population ages, many older adults have complex medical conditions that are difficult to sort out. Patients and their families are increasingly burdened by a daunting array of assessments, investigations, and treatments, delivered through a rigid system that typically addresses only one issue at a time.
You’ve no doubt experienced frustration when a patient’s health deteriorates to such a degree that the recommended therapies don’t seem to address their needs. You’ve probably seen frail patients become worse with standard care interventions, much to the surprise and dismay of everyone involved.
You may be wondering about the best way to:
- Gain a holistic understanding of health status and frailty
- Communicate the significance of frailty to patients and/or their families
- Identify which treatments will help in a given situation and which will not
- Help frail older patients and their families make complex medical/surgical decisions that best preserve their experience
- Use team resources more effectively and efficiently to deliver care that really matters
If you have questions like these, you’ve come to the right place.
The very first PATH trainees had these questions too. They described their challenges with the status quo as follows:
“We provide treatments that hurt and don’t focus on comfort early enough.“
“We are not open enough with patients and their families.“
“There’s not enough time to do all the things we need to.“
“We don’t seem to all be on the same page.“
“We don’t always know the whole person.“
The PATH approach to frailty
Part of the problem with the status quo is related to the manner in which healthcare providers approach frailty. There are multiple definitions of frailty in medicine and frailty and in the public domain. Thus, it’s no surprise that everyone has a different idea of what frailty means. We’ve found that when healthcare providers are presented with a case of a patient with multiple health issues and cognitive impairment, they rarely agree on how frail the person is or what treatments are relevant. If healthcare teams are not all speaking the same language, how can they provide patients and families with a unified and effective message?
You may have experienced other pitfalls of conventional team-based care in frailty, where each assessment uses discipline-specific language and ultimately repeats the steps of previous assessments instead of building on the work of others to create a cogent story of health. Despite these multiple assessments, important parts of the story are often missing, such as a full understanding of cognition. The end result is a fragmented list of discipline-specific recommendations, which makes it difficult to develop a fully holistic plan that considers the implications of declining health.
PATH inspires providers to achieve a collective shift in attitude. We ask health professionals to adjust their discipline-specific focus and embrace a new methodology that expands their scope of practice. This approach improves efficiency, decreases redundancy, and generates a more complete picture of health. Once health status is clarified, the training explores how to help patients and/or their families make decisions about surgery, medical interventions, dialysis, nursing home placement, and end-of-life care that are appropriate to their frailty burden.
In short, PATH puts health professionals in the best position to help patients and their families understand and cope with their health issues. Click here to Get Started today!
Here is what professionals like you had to say about their PATH training:
“I learned how to have better conversations with families and resident about frailty and care planning.”
“I am extremely satisfied with PATH training. It was a powerful experience.”
“I think all staff would benefit from this training.”
“The PATH training taught me how to understand frailty and streamline documentation, and manage palliative experiences. It is helpful to have a common language that can be used amongst our team.”
“The training was above and beyond my expectations. I especially appreciated learning about the language to use when communicating with patients and families. “
“The entire training was beneficial, but especially the opportunity to practice the assessment with patients and families.”
Working with Laurie and Paige is refreshing. They brought renewed life to our approach to care to the frail population and helped change the conversation. Integrating the PATH philosophy within an Eden Alternative resident directed care philosophy is a wonderful fit and will change the way we work and think about aging long into the future.
Debra Boudreau, M.Sc. (OT) post professional
Administrator / CEO Tideview Nursing Home, Digby, Nova Scotia
“The hands-on live practice assessment was a great way to learn.”
”This was a powerful training. I enjoyed the interactive nature of the training, learning about the assessment tool, and the review of up to date evidence.”
“I now have a way better understanding about frailty and how to educate patients and families to make care decisions.”
“I now understand the relationship of frailty to prognosis.“
“You had me captivated for the two days. Brilliant. I particularly enjoyed the cases that highlighted important concepts. The training was engaging, eye opening and interactive.”
PATH was the missing puzzle piece. We have the knowledge and experience to do a great job with the frail elderly, but were missing the assessment that brings it all together. It’s provided us with the tool to have those difficult conversations with families or at least enabled us to start those conversations.
Darlene Cook, RN
Director of Care (Tideview Nursing Home, Digby, Nova Scotia)
“I now know how to stage frailty and dementia; properly assess a patient, and educate family.”
“Knowing how to stage dementia and frailty is so beneficial. I learned how to put the ‘big’ picture together and present the information to family” based on the information gathered from the PATH assessment.”