Care pathways for the organization of patients' care
Care pathways, also known as clinical pathways, critical pathways or integrated care pathways, are used all over the world. Although they are used internationally, numerous misunderstandings still surround them. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of the history of these pathways, of care pathway development, the effectiveness of care pathways, and of some of the challenges facing current healthcare.
Pathways are more than just a document in the patient record. They are a concept for making patient-focused care operational, and for supporting patient group modelling with different levels of predictability. Care pathways are a method within the field of continuous quality improvement and are used in daily practice as a product in the patient record. This paper explains these different issues.