Clinical Pathway: multidisciplinary task-oriented and time-sequenced plan of care which provides guidance in the care of patients with a specific clinical problem in an effort to improve quality of care and reduce unnecessary variation. Pathways translate guidelines and the latest literature into local practice; can also reflect commonly accepted care standards when evidence is lacking. Use of a pathway is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged.
Clinical Practice Guideline: define the role of specific diagnostic and treatment modalities in the diagnosis and management of patients, issued by a third-party organization. These are statements that contain recommendations based on evidence from rigorous systematic review and synthesis of published literature without modification by local or regional experts or practice. (Definition adapted from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health within NIH)
Clinical Protocol: A set of assessments and interventions constrained by rules and algorithms that define the care of a patient with a specific condition and requires an order by a prescriber to be initiated. These are posted in PolicyStat and may be incorporated into clinical pathways. Questions may be directed to Donnetta Perkins as this process is being revised.
For an outline of the process of developing a pathway at Children's, please take a look at our User's Guide. If you are ready to develop a pathway, please fill out an Improvement Team Charter and the Pathway Steering Committee will help get you started in the right direction.
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Clinical pathways are developing dashboards for tracking and monitoring outcome, process, and balancing metrics based on the goals set by the Pathway Development Teams. A few are live now, and there are more in the development phase. All public data is de-identified, but our pathway teams are able to drill down into more specifics. We are using Power BI, which is an interactive data visualization platform within Microsoft O365, for these dashboards.
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For any questions about pathway dashboards or metrics, please contact Kelsey Spackler, DNP, APRN-NP, CPNP-AC/PC, Supervisor of Clinical Effectiveness. If you are interested in starting a pathway development team at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, please refer to our Clinical Effectiveness Page.
Pathway Steering Committee Chairs
Lauren J. Maskin, M.D.
Bridget M. Norton, M.D., MBA
Kelsey Spackler, DNP, APRN-NP, CPNP-AC/PC
Clinical Pathways Library
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