a multidisciplinary set of daily prescriptions and outcome targets for managing the overall care of a specific type of patient, e.g., from pre-admission to post-discharge for patients receiving inpatient care. Clinical pathways often are intended to maintain or improve quality of care and decrease costs for patients in particular diagnosis-related groups.
A patient care management tool that organizes, sequences, and times the major interventions of nursing staff, physicians, and other departments for a particular case type (e.g., normal delivery), subset (e.g., hysterectomy), or condition (e.g., failure to breastfeed). (Synonyms: critical path, care map.)
A treatment regime, agreed upon by consensus, that includes all the elements of care, regardless of the effect on patient outcomes. It is a broader look at care and may include tests and x-rays that do not affect patient recovery. Synonym: clinical path.