Clinical Pathways

After surgery. Helping patients heal.

The concept of Clinical Pathways – a basic roadmap for standardized tracking of patient outcomes – isn’t new. At Houston Methodist, we’re integrating disease site patient goals and escalation plans in Epic to streamline clinical decision-making and documentation.

Standardizing the processes reduces variations in care, and easy-to-follow templates improve how we track patient recovery.

“It’s like a GPS system for patient outcomes,” said Pat Harrison, vice president for system quality and patient safety.

“Clinical Pathways provides nurses a simple snapshot to follow. They’re already documenting patient progress, but now they can quickly see if certain landmarks are being reached. It keeps everyone, patients and nurses, moving in the right direction,” she said.

Everything in one place.

Clinical Pathways pulls and displays relevant information from various Epic sources, and also includes ancillary care like physical therapy and nutrition.

On one screen, nurses can view a patient’s orders, care plans, assessments and outcomes. They continue to document just as they have previously – in flowsheets, notes, care plan goals and patient education.

But this captured data populates the record, making it easy to identify when patients aren’t progressing as they should.

“Instead of flipping through different navigators and flowsheets, all of the results are right there,” notes Victoria Angeles, RN.

“I still document in Epic. But now the relevant information is captured in one place. I can tell if a patient is meeting a goal or if something is wrong, without hunting throughout Epic.”

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