Introduction The term, care pathway, has been used to describe multidisciplinary/ multi-agency outline of anticipated care, placed in an appropriate timeframe, to help a patient with a specific condition or set of symptoms move progressively through a clinical experience to positive outcomes. In practice, a multitude of disparate projects have produced outputs ranging from pages of interconnected boxes and arrows with rather basic entries to thick and indigestible wads of paper. Certainly the idea of a ‘mental health care pathway’ accessible and used by the general public, service users, carers, primary and secondary care has seemed overwhelmingly complex and unworkable. Aims & objectives To make relevant service and clinical information available when and where in a person's progress or a clinician treatment path it was needed. Method Website hyperlinks allow linkage within websites and to other websites with relevant information (e.g. ICD10, NICE guidelines, and Patient information leaflets). A development prototype funded by the UK NHS has been established to form the basis for a website to be launched in mid-2011 (www.mentalhealth.southcentral.nhs.uk). Results The prototype contains links to evidence-based information on maintaining mental health and on ‘coping with problems’. Service Pathways describe detail of processes occurring in mental health care. Diagnostic care pathways start as broad categories [Kingdon et al, 2010] with links to diagnosis, medication (e.g. connects to the National Formulary) and psychological management sites. Conclusions Web technology allows information about mental health care pathways to be accessed more systematically and readily and has application internationally.
Kingdon, D., & Gregoire, A. (2011). Mental health care pathways. European Psychiatry, 26(S2), 546–546. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0924-9338(11)72253-2