European Pathway Association

Leuven, Belgium

European Pathway Association

Leuven, Belgium
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Leigheb F.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Vanhaecht K.,European Pathway Association | Vanhaecht K.,Catholic University of Leuven | Vanhaecht K.,Health Integrated | And 14 more authors.
Calcified Tissue International | Year: 2012

We performed a systematic review for primary studies on care pathways (CPs) for hip fracture (HF). The online databases MEDLINE-PubMed, Ovid-EMBASE, CINAHL-EBSCO host, and The Cochrane Library (Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials, Health Technology Assessment Database, NHS Economic Evaluation Database) were searched. Two researchers reviewed the literature independently. Primary studies that met predefined inclusion criteria were assessed for their methodological quality. A total of 15 publications were included: 15 primary studies corresponding with 12 main investigations. Primary studies were evaluated for clinical outcomes, process outcomes, and economic outcomes. The studies assessed a wide range of outcome measures. While a number of divergent clinical outcomes were reported, most studies showed positive results of process management and health-services utilization. In terms of mortality, the results provided evidence for a positive impact of CPs on in-hospital mortality. Most studies also showed a significantly reduced risk of complications, including medical complications, wound infections, and pressure sores. Moreover, time-span process measures showed that an improvement in the organization of care was achieved through the use of CPs. Conflicting results were observed with regard to functional recovery and mobility between patients treated with CPs compared to usual care. Although our review suggests that CPs can have positive effects in patients with HF, the available evidence is insufficient for formal recommendations. There is a need for more research on CPs with selected process and outcome indicators, for in-hospital and postdischarge management of HF, with an emphasis on well-designed randomized trials. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Leigheb F.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Vanhaecht K.,Catholic University of Leuven | Vanhaecht K.,Health Integrated | Sermeus W.,European Pathway Association | And 13 more authors.
European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology | Year: 2013

The aim of this paper was to perform a systematic overview of secondary literature studies on care pathways (CPs) for hip fracture (HF). The online databases MEDLINE-PubMed, Ovid-EMBASE, CINAHL-EBSCO-host, and The Cochrane Library were searched. A total of six papers, corresponding to six secondary studies, were included but only four secondary studies were HF-specific and thus assessed. Secondary studies were evaluated for patients' clinical outcomes. There were wide differences among the studies that assessed the effects of CPs on HF patients, with some contrasting clinical outcomes reported. Secondary studies that were non-specific for CPs and included other multidisciplinary care approaches as well showed, in some cases, a shorter hospital length of stay (LOS) compared to usual care; studies that focused on promoting early mobilization showed better outcomes of mortality, morbidity, function, or service utilization; CPs mainly based on intensive occupational therapy and/or physical therapy exercises improved functional recovery and reduced LOS, with patients also discharged to a more favorable discharge destination; CPs principally focused on early mobilization improved functional recovery. A secondary study specifically designed for CPs showed lower odds of experiencing common complications of hospitalization after HF. In conclusion, although our overview suggests that CPs can reduce significantly LOS and can have a positive impact on different outcomes, data are insufficient for formal recommendations. To properly understand the effects of CPs for HF, a systematic review is needed of primary studies that specifically examined CPs for HF. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Deneckere S.,Catholic University of Leuven | Euwema M.,Research Group Work | Lodewijckx C.,Catholic University of Leuven | Panella M.,European Pathway Association | And 4 more authors.
Medical Care | Year: 2013

Background: Effective interprofessional teamwork is an essential component for the delivery of high-quality patient care in an increasingly complex medical environment. The objective is to evaluate whether the implementation of care pathways (CPs) improves teamwork in an acute hospital setting. Design and Measures: A posttest-only cluster randomized controlled trial was performed in Belgian acute hospitals. Teams caring for patients hospitalized with a proximal femur fracture and those hospitalized with an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, were randomized into intervention and control groups. The intervention group implemented a CP. The control group provided usual care. A set of team input, process, and output indicators were used as effect measures. To analyze the results, we performed multilevel statistical analysis. Results: Thirty teams and a total of 581 individual team members participated. The intervention teams scored significantly better in conflict management [β=0.30 (0.11); 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.08 to 0.53]; team climate for innovation [β=0.29 (0.10); 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.49]; and level of organized care [β=5.56 (2.05); 95% CI, 1.35 to 9.76]. They also showed lower risk of burnout as they scored significantly lower in emotional exhaustion [β=-0.57 (0.21); 95% CI,-1.00 to-0.14] and higher in the level of competence (β=0.39; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.64). No significant effect was found on relational coordination. Conclusions: CPs are effective interventions for improving teamwork, increasing the organizational level of care processes, and decreasing risk of burnout for health care teams in an acute hospital setting. Through this, high-performance teams can be built. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Vanhaecht K.,European Pathway Association | Vanhaecht K.,Catholic University of Leuven | Sermeus W.,European Pathway Association | Sermeus W.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 10 more authors.
Trials | Year: 2010

Background: Hospital treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) frequently does not follow published evidences. This lack of adherence can contribute to the high morbidity, mortality and readmissions rates. The European Quality of Care Pathway (EQCP) study on acute exacerbations of COPD (NTC00962468) is undertaken to determine how care pathways (CP) as complex intervention for hospital treatment of COPD affects care variability, adherence to evidence based key interventions and clinical outcomes.Methods: An international cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (cRCT) will be performed in Belgium, Italy, Ireland and Portugal. Based on the power analysis, a sample of 40 hospital teams and 398 patients will be included in the study. In the control arm of the study, usual care will be provided. The experimental teams will implement a CP as complex intervention which will include three active components: a formative evaluation of the quality and organization of care, a set of evidence based key interventions, and support on the development and implementation of the CP. The main outcome will be six-month readmission rate. As a secondary endpoint a set of clinical outcome and performance indicators (including care process evaluation and team functioning indicators) will be measured in both groups.Discussion: The EQCP study is the first international cRCT on care pathways. The design of the EQCP project is both a research study and a quality improvement project and will include a realistic evaluation framework including process analysis to further understand why and when CP can really work. © 2010 Vanhaecht et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Aeyels D.,Catholic University of Leuven | Van Vugt S.,Catholic University of Leuven | Sinnaeve P.R.,University Hospitals Leuven | Panella M.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing | Year: 2014

Background: Clinical practice variation and the subsequent burden on health care quality has been documented for patients with ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI). Reduction of clinical practice variation is possible by increasing guideline adherence. Care pathway documents can increase guideline adherence by implementing evidence-based key interventions and quality indicators in daily practice. Aims: This study aims to examine guideline adherence of care pathway documents for patients with STEMI. Methods: Lay-out, size and timeframe of submitted care pathways documents were analysed. Two independent reviewers used a checklist to systematically assess the guideline adherence of care pathway documents. The checklist comprised a set of key interventions and quality indicators extracted from evidence and international guidelines. The checklist distinguished the evidence level for each item and was validated by expert consensus. Results were verified by inviting participating hospitals to provide feedback. Results: Fifteen out of 25 invited hospitals submitted care pathway documents for STEMI. The care pathway documents differed in timeframe, lay-out and size. Analysis of the care pathway documents showed important variation in formalizing adherence to evidence: between hospitals, inclusion of 24 key interventions in care pathway documents varied from 13 to 97%. Inclusion of 11 essential quality indicators varied from 0 to 40%. Conclusion: Care pathway documents for patients with STEMI differ considerably in lay-out, timeframe and size. This study showed variation in, and suboptimal inclusion of, evidence-based key interventions and quality indicators in care pathway documents. The use of these care pathway documents might result in suboptimal quality of care for STEMI patients. © The European Society of Cardiology 2015.


Hospital treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) frequently does not follow published evidences. This lack of adherence can contribute to the high morbidity, mortality and readmissions rates. The European Quality of Care Pathway (EQCP) study on acute exacerbations of COPD (NTC00962468) is undertaken to determine how care pathways (CP) as complex intervention for hospital treatment of COPD affects care variability, adherence to evidence based key interventions and clinical outcomes.An international cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (cRCT) will be performed in Belgium, Italy, Ireland and Portugal. Based on the power analysis, a sample of 40 hospital teams and 398 patients will be included in the study. In the control arm of the study, usual care will be provided. The experimental teams will implement a CP as complex intervention which will include three active components: a formative evaluation of the quality and organization of care, a set of evidence based key interventions, and support on the development and implementation of the CP. The main outcome will be six-month readmission rate. As a secondary endpoint a set of clinical outcome and performance indicators (including care process evaluation and team functioning indicators) will be measured in both groups.The EQCP study is the first international cRCT on care pathways. The design of the EQCP project is both a research study and a quality improvement project and will include a realistic evaluation framework including process analysis to further understand why and when CP can really work.NCT00962468.


PubMed | European Pathway Association, University Hospitals Leuven, Catholic University of Leuven and University of Piemonte Orientale
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of cardiovascular nursing : journal of the Working Group on Cardiovascular Nursing of the European Society of Cardiology | Year: 2016

Clinical practice variation and the subsequent burden on health care quality has been documented for patients with ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI). Reduction of clinical practice variation is possible by increasing guideline adherence. Care pathway documents can increase guideline adherence by implementing evidence-based key interventions and quality indicators in daily practice.This study aims to examine guideline adherence of care pathway documents for patients with STEMI.Lay-out, size and timeframe of submitted care pathways documents were analysed. Two independent reviewers used a checklist to systematically assess the guideline adherence of care pathway documents. The checklist comprised a set of key interventions and quality indicators extracted from evidence and international guidelines. The checklist distinguished the evidence level for each item and was validated by expert consensus. Results were verified by inviting participating hospitals to provide feedback.Fifteen out of 25 invited hospitals submitted care pathway documents for STEMI. The care pathway documents differed in timeframe, lay-out and size. Analysis of the care pathway documents showed important variation in formalizing adherence to evidence: between hospitals, inclusion of 24 key interventions in care pathway documents varied from 13 to 97%. Inclusion of 11 essential quality indicators varied from 0 to 40%.Care pathway documents for patients with STEMI differ considerably in lay-out, timeframe and size. This study showed variation in, and suboptimal inclusion of, evidence-based key interventions and quality indicators in care pathway documents. The use of these care pathway documents might result in suboptimal quality of care for STEMI patients.


Kul S.,University of Gaziantep | Vanhaecht K.,University Hospitals Leuven | Panella M.,European Pathway Association | Panella M.,University of Piemonte Orientale
BMC Health Services Research | Year: 2014

Background: Cluster randomized trials are increasingly being used in healthcare evaluation to show the effectiveness of a specific intervention. Care pathways (CPs) are becoming a popular tool to improve the quality of health-care services provided to heart failure patients. In order to perform a well-designed cluster randomized trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of Usual care (UC) and CP in heart failure treatment, the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) should be available before conducting a trial to estimate the required sample size. This study reports ICCs for both demographical and outcome variables from cluster randomized trials of heart failure patients in UC and care pathways. Methods. To calculate the degree of within-cluster dependence, the ICC and associated 95% confidence interval were calculated by a method based on analysis of variance. All analyses were performed in R software version 2.15.1. Results: ICCs for baseline characteristics ranged from 0.025 to 0.058. The median value and interquartile range was 0.043 [0.026-0.052] for ICCs of baseline characteristics. Among baseline characteristics, the highest ICCs were found for admission by referral or admission from home (ICC = 0.058) and the disease severity at admission (ICC = 0.046). Corresponding ICCs for appropriateness of the stay, length of stay and hospitalization cost were 0.069, 0.063, and 0.001 in CP group and 0.203, 0.020, 0.046 for usual care, respectively. Conclusion: Reported values of ICCs from present care pathway trial and UC results for some common outcomes will be helpful for estimating sample size in future clustered randomized heart failure trials, in particular for the evaluation of care pathways. © 2014 Kul et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Lodewijckx C.,University Hospitals Leuven | Lodewijckx C.,Catholic University of Leuven | Decramer M.,University Hospitals Leuven | Decramer M.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 5 more authors.
Trials | Year: 2012

Background: Optimization of the clinical care process by integration of evidence-based knowledge is one of the active components in care pathways. When studying the impact of a care pathway by using a cluster-randomized design, standardization of the care pathway intervention is crucial. This methodology paper describes the development of the clinical content of an evidence-based care pathway for in-hospital management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation in the context of a cluster-randomized controlled trial (cRCT) on care pathway effectiveness.Methods: The clinical content of a care pathway for COPD exacerbation was developed based on recognized process design and guideline development methods. Subsequently, based on the COPD case study, a generalized eight-step method was designed to support the development of the clinical content of an evidence-based care pathway.Results: A set of 38 evidence-based key interventions and a set of 24 process and 15 outcome indicators were developed in eight different steps. Nine Belgian multidisciplinary teams piloted both the set of key interventions and indicators. The key intervention set was judged by the teams as being valid and clinically applicable. In addition, the pilot study showed that the indicators were feasible for the involved clinicians and patients.Conclusions: The set of 38 key interventions and the set of process and outcome indicators were found to be appropriate for the development and standardization of the clinical content of the COPD care pathway in the context of a cRCT on pathway effectiveness. The developed eight-step method may facilitate multidisciplinary teams caring for other patient populations in designing the clinical content of their future care pathways. © 2012 Lodewijckx et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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