The Patient Pathway Review: A New Method of Evaluating Clinical Practices to Understand the Complexities of Real-world Care

Link to article at PubMed

Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2021 Dec 1;20(4):213-219. doi: 10.1097/HPC.0000000000000267.


Healthcare research has contributed to the good patient care that is delivered today. With the perpetual demand for higher quality, cost-effective care, the current approaches in research could be improved to answer important research questions related to actual healthcare practices. In this article, we introduce the concept of the patient pathway review, which focuses on the identification of what happens to patients based on clinical expertise and systematic evaluation. This approach can help understand real-world healthcare activities and explore reasons for clinically relevant patient events. The patient pathway is defined as a series of clinically relevant events. The patient pathway review begins with selection of the area which merits exploration. This is followed by the development of an "ideal" pathway, which defines what is expected to happen to most patients in the area. Through critical reasoning and detailed consideration of different possible activities or outcomes at each stage of the "ideal" pathway, the "real-world" pathways can be determined. To understanding the significance of the "real-world" pathway, descriptions from all the stakeholders involved are necessary. Typically, in the healthcare setting, these perspectives are the patient, clinician, health service, policy makers, and society who have variable interests the important clinical events. Finally, the pathways together with the perspectives are integrated into a discussion. We conclude that the patient pathway review is a novel approach, which has value to explain real-world events for patients and can enable identification of favorable paths, which can help guide the development of interventions to improve clinical practice.

PMID:34494981 | DOI:10.1097/HPC.0000000000000267

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