Title: The effects of a clinical pathway for interdisciplinary pain management – evidence from Germany

Authors: Tobias Romeyke, Harald Stummer

Addresses: University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Opernring 5/2, 1010 Vienna, Austria. ' University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Opernring 5/2, 1010 Vienna, Austria

Abstract: High-quality inpatient care of chronic pain patients is of considerable importance in view of the numbers of people suffering from it worldwide. The introduction of a performance-oriented remuneration system brings pressure to bear on the service provider to ensure that care of the patient is not only of high quality, but is also cost-efficient. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a clinical pathway improves the quality assurance aspects of the core process of providing inpatient |multi-modal pain therapy|, while simultaneously lowering the personnel costs of the medical and medical technical service. Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of a clinical pathway requires that the care process be analysed and the costs calculated for individual cases. The results show that using a clinical pathway enables contributions to be made to the quality of the outcome, and costs to be lowered.

Keywords: clinical pathways; care quality; multi-modal pain therapy; chronic pain; personnel costs; diagnosis related group; DRG; Germany; interdisciplinary pain management; patient care; healthcare; quality assurance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBHR.2010.037633

International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research, 2010 Vol.2 No.2, pp.111 - 122

Published online: 20 Dec 2010 *

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