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Pathway: A toolkit for managing and communicating patient pathways

Coherent and seamless patient pathways has become a mantra and call-for-action in current healthcare. However, the term patient pathways is poorly defined, abstraction levels are highly variable, and methods to design and validate implemented pathways are virtually non-existent. The overall goal of the project is to establish the knowledge needed to provide coherent, effective patient journeys using precise models and methods.

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Foto: SINTEF (R. Halvorsrud)

Patient pathways have become an important concept within healthcare, and is used by professionals with different backgrounds, for example clinicians, coordinators, and technologists. The lack of an overall framework for patient pathways has resulted in a number of non-standardized descriptions and definitions, and clarifications of concepts rarely occur. Patient pathways are mostly used by hospitals to ensure that patients receive treatment within given target times. Most pathways involve one institution only and are rarely patient centred.

Our vision is to develop a theoretical foundation and a visual modelling language for specifying, developing, and communicating patient pathways. The project departs from a patient-centric perspective, and we will actively involve patients and patient organizations throughout the research activities. We will focus on two diseases: MS and cancer. This is not only to capture different types of pathways, but also to study variations within groups. The goal is to develop methods and tools that support all types of pathways and contributes to well-coordinated and satisfying patient experiences.

The result of the project will be a toolkit for precise, visual models of patient pathways that will make it easier to achieve a common understanding and communicate across different professions. Furthermore, we will create tools for communication directly towards patients.

The project is led by SINTEF Digital, and the partners are the University of Oslo and the University of Aalto, Finland. We will conduct studies at the university hospitals in Oslo and Helsinki and compare results across disease groups and countries. The toolkit will be shared publicly and promoted through seminars.

Key Factors

Project duration

2021 - 2025


The Research Council of Norway

Cooperation Partners

University of Oslo, Norway, and University of Aalto, Finland

Project Type

Research project


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