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Alberta Pathways Hub – Pathways of the Week

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January Messenger 2024 | Posted January 18, 2024
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The Hub, the provincial central location for trusted, evidence-informed clinical, patient and referral pathways, is maintained by the Provincial Pathways Unit (PPU) with help from patients, primary care and specialty care providers. The PPU is requesting assistance from primary care providers in reviewing the below pathways. Please take a look and email with feedback.

Non-obstructing kidney stone clinical and patient pathway

A new clinical and patient pathway  has been developed provincially by primary care physicians, urologists and patient/family advisors.

  • When a non-obstructing kidney stone is identified, the clinical pathway will help indicate what investigations are recommended and outline when referral is needed.
  • The corresponding patient pathway is an easy-to-read resource that empowers patient self-management and collaborative decision making.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing primary care pathway

Based on the current Canadian Urological Association recommendations, a new clinical pathway has been developed to provide guidance on asymptomatic routine PSA testing in the Primary Care setting in Alberta. The pathway was developed provincially by primary care physicians, urologists and patient/family advisors.

  • A key highlight of this pathway is to outline when PSA testing should not be completed based off current evidence. A supplementary shared decision-making guide is included to support providers in having a brief, yet thorough conversation on whether to conduct a PSA test or not.

Provincial head and neck cancer diagnosis & referral pathway

A new referral pathway has been developed by patient advisors and leaders from medicine, dentistry, primary care, research and quality improvement to streamline and align processes, improve the appropriateness of diagnostic testing and improve the timing of referrals to specialty care.

  • Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the 11th most common type of cancer in Canada with an increasing population of younger males being diagnosed than ever before. A key feature of this pathway is the recommendation of referral to specialty care as a first step when there is suspicion of head and neck cancer. By providing primary care providers with information on who and when to refer, the pathway will help eliminate low yield testing and improve patient outcomes.

Explore more pathways at

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