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Int J Integr Care. 2017 Mar 9;17(1):2. doi: 10.5334/ijic.2429.

Designing a Care Pathway Model - A Case Study of the Outpatient Total Hip Arthroplasty Care Pathway.

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Delft University of Technology, NL.
Reinier de Graaf Hospital, NL.



Although the clinical attributes of total hip arthroplasty (THA) care pathways have been thoroughly researched, a detailed understanding of the equally important organisational attributes is still lacking. The aim of this article is to contribute with a model of the outpatient THA care pathway that depicts how the care team should be organised to enable patient discharge on the day of surgery.


The outpatient THA care pathway enables patients to be discharged on the day of surgery, shortening the length of stay and intensifying the provision and organisation of care. We utilise visual care modelling to construct a visual design of the organisation of the care pathway.


An embedded case study was conducted of the outpatient THA care pathway at a teaching hospital in the Netherlands. The data were collected using a visual care modelling toolkit in 16 semi-structured interviews. Problems and inefficiencies in the care pathway were identified and addressed in the iterative design process.


The results are two visual models of the most critical phases of the outpatient THA care pathway: diagnosis & preparation (1) and mobilisation & discharge (4). The results show the care team composition, critical value exchanges, and sequence that enable patient discharge on the day of surgery.


The design addressed existing problems and is an optimisation of the case hospital's pathway. The network of actors consists of the patient (1), radiologist (1), anaesthetist (1), nurse specialist (1), pharmacist (1), orthopaedic surgeon (1,4), physiotherapist (1,4), nurse (4), doctor (4) and patient application (1,4). The critical value exchanges include patient preparation (mental and practical), patient education, aligned care team, efficient sequence of value exchanges, early patient mobilisation, flexible availability of the physiotherapist, functional discharge criteria, joint decision making and availability of the care team.


care model; care pathway model design; integrated care; outpatient total hip arthroplasty; pathway organisation; visual modelling

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