Care Pathway in Medicine benefits
A care pathway refers to a complex intervention for the mutual organization and decision-making of a care procedure. It is where a set of professionals treat a specific group of patients. They are based a variety of systematization methods, including medical and nursing protocol, standardised nursing care maps, and clinical practice guidelines.
Care pathways have three main benefits: they reduce time for patients, improve professional work-flows, and reduce errors. They also optimise the use of resources. They can also lead to a dehumanization for health professionals. This could lead to a loss empathy with patients, and a reduction in diversity in professional practice.
Care pathways have another advantage: they allow for a patient-centred approach to healthcare. This is a key component of Integrated Medicine, which focuses primarily on four pillars of healing: environment, diet, lifestyle, interpersonal relationships, and the natural system for detoxification and repair.
Numerous studies have shown that care pathways can improve patient satisfaction, safety, and efficiency. Moreover, the WHO calls for a more holistic and patient-centered approach to health care processes in its member countries.
The WHO defines a Care Pathway as “complex intervention to mutual decision-making, organisation of a process of care,” during which en patients can be treated by a specified group of physicians.
This paper is intended to provide a precise definition of care pathway and an integrative conceptual framework for implementation. To summarize qualitative, quantitative, as well as mixed-method studies on care paths in the field of health service research, a hybrid method combined concept analysis, systematic reviews, and bibliometric analyses was used.
There have been many theories about the role and impact of Care Pathways vs Integrated Medicine in health care on patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, job satisfaction, and the job satisfaction of healthcare professionals since the 1950s. This paper discusses the implications of these theories for the current use of care pathways within health care.
Different systematization tools were used from the 1950s through today to standardise clinical processes. Most common are medical and nursing protocols. However, in recent years, standardised nursing care maps and clinical practice guidelines have been introduced.
These tools are designed to improve care processes in three areas: coordination, quality, and efficiency under the culture of Continuous Quality Improvement. (CQI), [4, 8]. A care pathway is defined by the EPA as “a complex intervention for mutual decision-making, organisation, and monitoring of a complicated care process during which a specified group of patients are being treated by a specific set of professionals.”
Theoretical problems with care pathways have been identified. They can dehumanize the professional work of limiting options for patients, can increase costs and control patient care quality, and can lead to a lack or commitment on behalf of health professionals. Studies have shown that nurses who see the same patient type as their patients in a single care pathway experience a lower level of empathy. This could be due, in part, to a focus on routine. Routine is not always the best approach to treating patients.