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Invited Commentary
June 25, 2012

Putting a Critical Pathway Into Practice: The Devil Is in the Implementation Details: Comment on “Effect of a 3-Step Critical Pathway to Reduce Duration of Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy and Length of Stay in Community-Acquired Pneumonia”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(12):928-929. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2129

Imagine if, for the cost of a single sheet of paper and the effort required to place it in the patient's medical chart, you could reduce length of stay by 2 days and save up to $4600 per patient yet have no impact on readmission rate, 30-day mortality, or patient satisfaction. One might think a deal with the devil had been struck, as public and private insurers, health care systems, hospitals, and individual health care providers would likely pay a fair amount for such an intervention.