The purpose of this paper is to examine the suitability of current care pathway modelling techniques for supporting business improvement and the development of information systems. This is in the light of current UK government policies advocating the use of care pathways as part of the £12.4 billion programme for Information Technology and as a key strategy to reducing waiting times.
A qualitative analysis of the variety in purpose, syntax and semantics in a selection of existing care pathways is conducted.
Care pathways are typically modelled in an ad hoc manner with little reference to formal syntax or semantics.
The research reviews a small selection of existing pathways. The feature set used for evaluation could be further refined. Future research should examine the suitability of applying existing process modelling techniques to care pathways and explore the motivations for modelling care pathways in an ad hoc manner.
The development of care pathways can aid process improvement and the integration of information systems. However, while syntax and semantics are not standardised the impact of care pathways in the work of Department of Health agencies, in particular Connecting for Health, is likely to be limited.
The results provide insight into the limitations of the state of the art in care pathway models. This highlights a significant omission in the Department of Health's approach and identifies an important direction for further development that will aid Connecting for Health, healthcare organisations and healthcare professionals to deliver more effective services.
Crocker, T., Johnson, O. and King, S. (2009), "The suitability of care pathways for integrating processes and information systems in healthcare", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 289-301. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506160910979379Download as .RIS
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