Improving pathway compliance and clinician performance by using information technology

Int J Med Inform. 2007 Feb-Mar;76(2-3):151-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2006.07.006. Epub 2006 Aug 28.


To deliver patient-specific advice at the time and place of a consultation is an important contribution to improving clinician performance. Using computer-based decision support on the basis of clinical pathways is a promising strategy to achieve this goal. Thereby integration of IT applications into the clinical workflow is a core precondition for success. User acceptance and usability play a critical role: additional effort has to be balanced with enough benefit for the users and interaction design and evaluation should be handled as an intertwined, continuous process. Experiences from routine use of an online surgical pathway at Marburg University Medical Center show that it is possible to successfully address this issue by seamlessly integrating patient-specific pathway recommendations with documentation tasks which have to be done anyway, by substantially reusing entered data to accelerate routine tasks (e.g. by automatically generating orders and reports), and by continuously and systematically monitoring pathway conformance and documentation quality.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Critical Pathways*
  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted*
  • Germany
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Systems Integration