Improving the Quality of Care for Older Adults Using Evidence-Informed Clinical Care Pathways
Keywords:clinical networks, knowledge translation, clinical care pathway
There has been an intensified focus on quality initiatives within health care. Clinical Networks have been established in Alberta as a structure to improve care within and across settings. One method used by Clinical Networks to improve care is clinical care pathways. The objective of this study was to evaluate an evidence-informed hip fracture acute care pathway before broad implementation.
The pathway was developed by a provincial Clinical Network and implemented at four of 14 hospitals across the province. Within four months of implementing the pathway, experienced interviewers conducted focus groups with end-users at the four sites. Domains of inquiry focused on indentifying barriers and facilitators to use of the pathway.
Fifteen physicians and 29 other health-care providers participated in eight focus groups. Common themes identified around the pathway order sets included issues with format, workflow and workload, and dissemination. The patient/family educational materials were deemed to be beneficial. Health-care provider education required better support. Overall the pathway was seen to be comprehensive. However, communication about the pathway could have been improved.
This care model is novel in that it combines the concepts of clinical networks, care pathways, and knowledge translation in an effort to provide high-quality, evidence-informed care in a standardized equitable manner across a diverse geographic area.
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