A care pathway is a system of documentation that describes the patient’s journey and encompasses all aspects of their medical care (Figure 2). Its main objectives are high-quality healthcare, coordination / collaboration between professionals, and efficiency. It is also supported by a culture of constant quality improvement.
The definition of a care pathway is derived from the European Pathway Association, which defines it as “a patient-centered and disease-specific care plan that is designed to integrate clinical and patient-oriented actions and facilitates shared decision making throughout the entire process of caring.” Care Pathways vs Integrated Medicine has some difarence .
Integrative medicine is a method of improving the quality of healthcare by integrating of several tools in the process of care. This includes standardised protocols for nursing and medical care guidelines for clinical practice, and patient-centered care pathways.
In general, they place a strong emphasis on the importance of physicians in development and implementation. Their aim is to give providers the flexibility to tailor treatment options to the patient’s requirements. They have also been proven to improve the relationship between doctors and their patients, to promote trust and communication, as well as to provide a more comprehensive perspective of the patient’s illness and care.
Our research identified key trends in current pathways’ design and implementation. First, development efforts have focused on high-quality clinical guidelines and guidelines as sources for information to determine the best treatment options. They also considered the cost implications. This could be an indication of the importance of reducing healthcare costs and improving the outcomes of patients while also reducing costs.
Second, pathways can be used to incorporate evidence-based medicine into medical practice. Further efforts are needed to ensure an unbiased development and evaluation process, consistent implementation, compliance metrics, transparency in the outcomes of implementation, and financial motivations.
Third consistent data collection and analysis methods are crucial to ensure the quality of healthcare for patients and reduce the risks and costs associated with treatment variation. This is especially important when studying the impact of the treatment options on outcomes for patients or resource utilization.
Fourth, care pathways must be endorsed and supported by a broad range of stakeholders. This includes doctors, payers and consumers, as well as other healthcare professionals. Furthermore, transparency in all elements of pathway development, implementation and evaluation should be endorsed and encouraged.
Fifth, care pathways should follow best practices and be developed. This should align with the objectives of health system transformation, which include enhancing quality, reducing variation and improving efficiency. It should also outline the development of pathways and the evidence that supports them, and the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders.
Developing and implementing a pathway requires substantial commitment from the top management levels in a health system and from clinicians at all levels of the hospital and also the right resources. A solid and consistent education program is essential to educate doctors and other healthcare professionals about the role of pathways as a means of improving the quality of healthcare and reducing variations in treatment.