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Introduction: In 2012, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) introduced a hysterectomy clinical pathway to reduce the number of total abdominal hysterectomies performed for benign gynecological indications. This study focused on exploring physician and patient factors impacting the utilization of hysterectomy clinical pathways.
Methods: An online survey with 24 questions was implemented to explore physicians’ attitudes and perceived barriers toward implementing the pathway. A survey consisting of 27 questions was developed for patients to determine the utility of a pathway-based educational tool for making surgery decisions and to measure satisfaction with the information provided. Descriptive statistics were used to describe survey results, while thematic analysis was performed on verbal feedback submitted by respondents.
Results: Physician respondents found the clinical pathway to be practical, beneficial to patients, and up-to-date with the latest evidence-based literature. Key barriers to the use of the pathway that were identified by physicians included perceived waste of time, inappropriateness for some of the patient groups, improper incentive structure, and excessive bureaucracy surrounding the process. Overall, patient respondents were satisfied with the tool and found it to be helpful with the decision-making process of choosing a hysterectomy route.
Conclusions: Physicians and patients found the developed tools to be practical and beneficial. Findings of this study will help to use pathways as a unifying framework to shape future care of patients needing hysterectomy and add value to their care.
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