Many different clinical conditions are best treated following established standardized treatment plans called “clinical pathways.” At Middlesex Hospital, these standard treatments have been developed by teams of healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients with that particular condition (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, physical therapists, case managers, etc.).
Clinical pathway team members review the most up-to-date medical literature to identify best practice and then incorporate those therapies or approaches for use in the clinical pathways they create. This allows physicians to combine the latest and most effective treatments with their own personal styles of patient care. Clinical pathways serve to reduce variation in patient care, reminding healthcare providers of even the smallest evidence-based details so that they are less likely to be overlooked.
Clinical pathway use is closely monitored, and the pathways are revised as newer and more effective treatments become available. Since not all patients will be appropriate to be placed on a clinical pathway, the decision to use a pathway for a particular patient is left up to the attending physician. Pathway use has in fact improved many aspects of healthcare at Middlesex Hospital and around the country.
You should take the opportunity to ask your physician about clinical pathways that may be available for your particular condition.