The Fusion of Clinical Guidelines with Technology: Trends & Challenges

Candice Elizabeth MacDougall, Carolyn McGregor, Jennifer Percival


The use of Health Information Technology (HIT) within the healthcare setting can be a great resource to contribute to improved patient care. Clinical guidelines are developed to aid in the decision making process of healthcare professionals and contain the leading edge of best patient practice. There is an abundance of evidence presenting the benefits that HIT contain; however, its use is rarely incorporated in today’s clinical guidelines. Although, research suggests that the benefits of HIT are enough to integrate their use in clinical guidelines, there are a number of challenges that interfere with its implementation, such as, cultural diversity, interdisciplinary nature, lack of HIT knowledge for workers, evolution of technology, heavy clinical workload and lack of medical background in developers of HIT. The purpose of this research project is to present a literature review to further understand the trends and challenges of implementing HIT use within clinical guidelines. A modelling system, PaJMa is also introduced to visually depict a patient’s journey and the methods of documentation. PaJMa can aid in discovering gaps in healthcare documentation and closing those gaps through HIT use within clinical guidelines. Further research revealed that there are models and approaches supporting the process and creation of clinical guidelines but none of these enable the inclusion of what technology will be used to support the implementation of these procedures. The research project concludes with ideas for future research in the area of clinical guideline development and HIT implementation.


Clinical Guidelines; Clinical Pathways; Information Technology; Patient Journey Modeling

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