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Book and Media Reviews
September 26, 2007

Critical Pathways in Cardiovascular Medicine

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(12):1453-1458. doi:10.1001/jama.298.12.1453

Competition in the health care industry has fostered the development of critical pathways (also known as critical paths, clinical pathways, or care paths). The goal has been to provide a sequence and timing of actions necessary to achieve a given outcome with maximum efficiency. Critical pathways are intended to reduce variation in care, optimize resource utilization, and improve the quality of care provided. Cardiovascular medicine, with its many clinical trials evaluating new and standard treatments, is particularly suited for a “best practices” approach to health care.