Clinical audit is a method to assess the quality of healthcare services based on whether standards are met or not met. This approach is limited because it fails to recognize how decisions that take place over time and the natural progression of disease has impact on what happens to patients and the care they receive. The aim of this paper is to introduce the concept of care pathway and explain how care pathways can be audited to better understand care. The care pathway is defined by clinically relevant events that take place within one or more healthcare institution. The process begins with defining an ideal care pathway based on local expertise and guidelines. It is then possible to audit against the extent to which this ideal care pathway is achieved. This care pathway audit can enable identification of patterns in real-world care which can help with the of design interventions to help shift patients from the less to more desirable pathways. We conclude that through the process of the care pathway audit cycle, it is possible to learn about real-world activities, better utilize resources, promote safer care, improve quality of care and help develop more effective interventions.
|Number of pages||12|
|Early online date||19 Sep 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Sep 2022|
- clinical audit
- quality of healthcare
- real-world care