Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde vol:67 issue:10 pages:473-481
Care pathways, also known as clinical pathways, are used worldwide to organize and follow-up patient focused care processes. Care pathways are nowadays defined as complex interventions. In the past years, more than 110 organizations in Belgium and The Netherlands performed more than 1200 pathway projects. These projects used the 30 step methodology of the Belgian Dutch Clinical Pathway Network, developed by the Center for Health Services and Nursing Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven between 1998 and 2002.
Based on the experience in the Network between 2002 and 2009 and based on national and international research in close collaboration with the European Pathway Association, the methodology was revised. The 30 step methodology was changed into a seven phase model to develop, implement, evaluate and continuously follow-up care pathways and is usable for in-hospital, primary care and cross boundary projects. The seven phases consist of a screening phase, a project management phase, a diagnose phase, a development phase, an implementation phase, an evaluation phase and a continuous follow-up phase.
Compliance to this methodology is no guarantee for success but could support the multidisciplinary teams who want to (re)organise safe, efficient, effective, patient centered, timely, equitable, continuous and integrated care processes.