Mounting pressures to resolve multiple challenges related to quality, cost, and access in a resource-driven, customer-focused health care environment have compelled clinicians to develop Innovative strategies to provide cost-effective, state-of-the-art care. Targeted patient groups include these associated with high cost, high volume, or high resource use. Patients undergoing renal transplantation fall into one or more of those categories. Recently, the management of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has come under national focus, as evidenced by the tact that Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has commissioned an ESRD managed care demonstration project. The purpose of this article is to describe how one case management tool—the clinical pathway—can be used to decrease costs and improve outcomes associated with renal transplantation.
This discussion will include a review of the origins and components of clinical pathways and a description of how one institution developed, implemented, evaluated, and refined a renal transplantation clinical pathway.