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care maps, clinical pathway, outcomes management, perinatal care, systems thinking



  1. Jones, Mary Lou Helfrich PhD, RN, CNAA
  2. Day, Sue BSN, RN, CNA
  3. Creely, Janet RN, CPHQ, CCM
  4. Woodland, Mark B. MD, FACOG
  5. Gerdes, Jeffrey B. MD


This article describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of an interdisciplinary clinical pathway system for maternal newborn care in a perinatal regional referral institution. Core issues in the design of this system are addressed to promote outcomes management and ongoing performance improvement. A discussion of the implementation follows, illustrating the lessons learned, changes made, and associated evaluation. This clinical pathway system has improved communication and collaboration among all disciplines, enhanced the discharge coordination process, and established protocols available to all members of the health care team.