Helping the primary care system identify, plan and care for seriously ill older adults living with frailty

Read more about the project here.

Doctors find it difficult to know when patients are nearing end-of-life (EOL). As a result, patients who would benefit from having conversations with their doctors about their goals and wishes for care (i.e. advance care planning) are often identified when it is too late for these to be met. This can lead to unwanted care for patients at EOL, and stress and anxiety for families. 

The main objective of this study was to create an “identification rule” using information from the electronic medial records (EMR) of patients, to notify doctors when a patient is nearing EOL, as well as understanding how it can be integrated in doctors’ offices.

Robin Urquhart, PhD is an Assistant Professor, in the Department of Surgery, with a cross-appointment in Community Health & Epidemiology, both at Dalhousie University. She is also an Affiliate Scientist with the QEII Health Sciences Centre, and a Senior Scientist at Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute. She received her Interdisciplinary PhD in 2013 at Dalhousie University with a focus on how multi-level factors influence the movement of complex innovations into practice. Dr. Urquhart’s primary research interests relate to understanding and optimizing the movement of evidence-based innovations into clinical practice as well as the interface between evidence-based medicine and policy.