Clinical Pathways Projects

Clinical pathways are documented multi-disciplinary plans that outline the sequence and timing of actions necessary to achieve expected patient outcomes with optimal efficiency. They lead individual patients toward a desired set of outcomes and ensure that specified interventions are delivered at the appropriate time, in the right way, and by the right health professionals.

The potential for clinical pathways to advance care of patients with co-morbid conditions, such as heart disease and depression, has not been carefully investigated in Australia.  A clinical pathways approach for this patient group incorporates evidence-based guidelines, promotes monitoring of current practice and outcomes beyond length of hospitalisation and healthcare costs, and stimulates research to establish best practice that maximises efficient use of health service resources and improves quality of patient care.

Co-morbidities of depression, coronary heart disease and diabetes are common, disabling and account for a significant burden of disease in our community. They are under-diagnosed and inadequately treated by both specialist and primary care. Patients have difficulty negotiating a complex health care system and therefore often fail to achieve timely and appropriate care for depression and related disorders. This contributes to a significant increase in both direct and indirect health care costs.

The GGT UDRH currently holds a number of grants which are examining the clinical pathways for the co-morbidities of depression, coronary heart disease and diabetes.

Related Projects