We are shifting the culture across VCH to support the practice of an early palliative approach to care. We strive to achieve the benefits of communicating and respecting a patient’s goals, values and beliefs in all care decisions so that early conversations lead from foundational to exceptional care.

What is a palliative approach to care?

‎A palliative approach to care is focused on the relief of suffering, while integrating psychosocial and spiritual aspects of care important to the patient/family. It does not link the provision of care with prognosis, but instead focuses on conversations with people about their needs, values and wishes. Based on the patient's wishes, the palliative care philosophy is applicable at any time of the illness journey, in conjunction with other therapies intended to prolong life, and includes investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications. It neither hastens nor postpones death but sets out to preserve the best possible quality of life to support a natural death.


    • ACP and GOC discussion record

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    • VGH Hospitalist Program ACP-GOC record

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Visit the RPACE section on oneVCH for complete resources, including identification, conversation, documentation, resources, education, translation, glossaries and COVID-19 resources. Use your VCH log in to learn more today. If you are having difficulty accessing this information, email for support.


Conversations about a person's values and beliefs can be started at any time; ideally before a diagnosis of serious illness, in the form of Advance Care Planning.  Conversations about a person’s wishes for care can be initiated at any stage of their illness journey -- from the time of diagnosis until end of life. Using identification tools, those who are at high risk of health deterioration can be prioritized to have a conversation as soon as possible. These conversations can assist clinicians in framing future recommendations for care and treatment in a way that is meaningfully aligned with the patient's wishes and values. Based on the conversation outcome, we can integrate a palliative approach if the person's values are aligned with the philosophy of palliative care.  It is important to realize that a person’s wishes and priorities can change over time as their health changes, and that these conversations need to be revisited over time and may lead to changes in a person’s Advance Care Plan.

Learn about the Serious Illness conversations and 4-question framework on oneVCH. 

Conversations (VCH staff login required)  

Contact RPACE

Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, contact