As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve in the push toward value-based care, hospitals and health systems are challenged more than ever by the need to continue improving patient care, while simultaneously finding ways to make the effort financially sustainable.

To improve care in the 1980s and 90s, healthcare providers adopted clinical pathways—regimented, task-oriented plans that provided clinicians with steps on how they should treat patients with a specific disease and what those patients should expect. Even early on, the use of pathways was not really successful because of lack of strong evidence, complexity and too many manual steps.

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