Intensive four-day program concludes today to enthusiastic reviews

Two Dalhousie internists brought their rigorous Geriatric Care training program to PRHC this week. Following an intensive four-day session, PRHC staff and physicians are weighing in with glowing reviews.

“I am thrilled with this innovative training program; we have had such a tremendous week of learning here,” said Dr. Jenny Ingram, Geriatrician with PRHC. “I’m confident our team – and our patients – will benefit from this experience. What we take away from this training will help us to provide comprehensive, specialized care to meet the needs of our aging population, a commitment we identified in the hospital’s Strategic Plan for 2014-2017.”

A total of 44 PRHC physicians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists have participated in the training session this week, and are looking forward to incorporating what they have learned into their day-to-day practice.

Dr. Paige Moorhouse and Dr. Laurie Mallery, both internists and specialists in geriatric medicine from Dalhousie University, developed the training program, called Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization (PATH). The program ensures that comprehensive assessments are performed on individuals with evidence of severe and very severe frailty. The program challenges staff to rethink their former discipline-based training and provides a shared skill set and framework to integrate prognosis into care planning.

The program has several benefits. Multi-disciplinary teams learn how to function efficiently with less duplication and improved outcomes. End-of-life planning is integrated into the care plan in a more proactive and seamless way, and all disciplines learn to use a shared language and common understanding of the patient’s story to describe and manage frailty and dementia.

The results are improved patient and caregiver experience, reduced costs and improved sustainability. Dr. Mallery and Dr. Moorhouse have published their results in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and the model is described on their website at

PRHC is proud to embrace this philosophy. Following this week’s session, we will be implementing changes in practice, care planning, medication management and team roles to enhance the care we provide to our senior population.