Evidence based care involves the application of the most current data, focusing on approaches to assessment diagnosis and management of disease that have been proven effective through empirical research rather than through anecdotal or clinical experiences.
Care for patients living with dementia involves cross-functional, multidisciplinary team based care between nursing, primary care practitioners, specialists and community services such as the Alzheimer Society all working toward the same goal: optimal patient care and outcomes.
While it is true that every patient is unique, this mantra can lead to excess variation in patient care. This is particularly true in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Related Dementias and may contribute to the current gaps in timely diagnosis (up to 2/3rds of dementias are undiagnosed) which leads to delays in access to services (patients who receive a diagnosis get access to services up to 11 months sooner!) Clinical care pathways support the development of care partnerships and empower patients and their caregivers that supports quality care over the entire continuum. (What is a Clinical Pathway? | Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute).
The incidence and prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Related Dementias is expected to double in the next 30 years in line with an ageing global population. Reducing variations in care, aligning practice with guidelines based care and implementing a standardized approach to assessment, diagnosis and management of persons suspected of having, or living with, some form of dementia will decrease fragmentation, improve communication between providers and ultimately improve outcomes.
For more on clinical care pathways in dementia, check us out at dementiahub.net/pcdata-course/