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)

Protocol: a set of orders 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 Sarah Ciriaco 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.

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 User’s Guide
Executive Summary
Improvement Team Charter

PI Resource


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for Clinical Pathways


Concussion Pathway

COVID-19 Pathways

Diabetes Ketone Pathway

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

Distal Torus Fracture

Eating Disorders Pathway

Febrile Infant

Fontan Pathway

Heated High Flow Pathway

Junctional Ectopic Tachycardia (JET) Pathway

Kawasaki Disease Pathway

Musculoskeletal Infection

Otitis Media (Acute)


Physical Abuse

Pneumonia, Community Acquired (CAP)

Sexual Abuse

Sinusitis, Acute Bacterial

Skin & Soft Tissue Infection (SSTI)




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