critical path

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critical path

 
a concise document describing the common practices of all health care disciplines in relation to a specific type of case; it is a tool used in managed care and case management representing specific practice patterns, patient populations, and limits on the length of stay. A critical path is a set of concurrent or sequential actions to achieve a goal or complete a project. The start and completion dates are the critical organizing factor. See also critical path development.

clin·i·cal path·way

(klin'i-kăl path'wā)
Standardized interdisplinary care map for a specific diagnosis from the diagnosis-related group. Clinical pathways guide a patient's plan of care through attainment of specific clinical outcomes by the patient from admission to discharge. Benefits for the pathway include increased communication among members of the health care team, standardization of care, documentation and evaluation tools, decreased cost and length of stay, and increased patient and family satisfaction.
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