Palliative & Therapeutic Harmonization Clinic

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The Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization Clinic (PATH) is an innovative health care service for older people in Nova Scotia with chronic health conditions.

The PATH Clinic provides assessment and consultation services to help older individuals and their families understand their true health status and outlook for the future.

The goal of the PATH Clinic is to help patients and families learn how to make health care decisions that support patients’ overall health and quality of life.

About PATH Clinic

The PATH Clinic was established to help older people and their families understand their health status and to guide them through the process of making health care decisions that will protect their best interests and quality of life.

Who is the PATH for?

The PATH Clinic is for individuals over the age of 65 with multiple chronic health problems including heart failure, kidney disease, dementia and frailty. In most cases, the clinic sees a family member along with the patient.

Why is the PATH important?

As people accumulate health problems, they become frail. This means they have more difficulty recovering from illnesses and injuries than people who are healthier. In fact, some treatments could worsen their overall health status and quality of life. The PATH Clinic helps patients and families understand these issues in relation to their own health status and learn to ask the right questions as new health problems emerge. This way, they can realistically consider the risks and benefits of potential treatments and make wise decisions.

Process along the PATH:

  • Understand Physicians at the PATH Clinic conduct a comprehensive assessment of each patient’s physical, mental and social wellbeing. This helps them understand the patient’s complete health picture and how they are likely to respond to potential treatments in the future
  • Communicate
    The PATH physicians share the results of the assessment with the patient and family. They answer questions and listen carefully to the concerns and wishes of patients and families. Their goal is to ensure that all parties understand the current situation and what to expect
  • Plan
    PATH physicians work with patients and families to make immediate health care decisions and to chart a course for the kinds of decisions that will need to be made in the future. They inform the patient’s family physician and other relevant health professionals of any decisions that have been made
  • Empower
    At the end of the process, PATH physicians provide patients and families with the knowledge and resources to help them know what questions to ask, and what to consider, when faced with a new health problem. This empowers patients and families to make health care decisions that preserve quality of life and promote dignity

Patients and families have time to reflect on what they are learning after each process and are free to contact the PATH Clinic at any time with questions or concerns.