Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Clinical Pathways for Non-SARS-CoV-2 Related Diseases in the Lazio Region, Italy

Maria Piane, Lavinia Bianco, Rita Mancini, Paolo Fornelli, Angela Gabriele, Francesco Medici, Claudia Battista, Stefania Greco, Giuseppe Croce, Laura Franceschetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical pathways (CPs) are multidisciplinary clinical governance tools necessary for the care management of the patients, whose aim is to outline the best practicable path within a health organization related to an illness or to a complex clinical situation. The COVID-19 pandemic emergency has created the need for an organizational renewal of care pathways based on the principles of “primary health care” recommended by the WHO. In Italy, the Hospitals and Local Health Authorities (ASL) have tried to guarantee the continuity of non-deferrable treatments and the maximum safety of both patients and health professionals. This study analyzes the organizational and managerial responses adopted in pathology-specific care pathways to assess how CPs as diagnostic tools responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the first two waves. Twenty-four referents of Operational Units (UU OO) from Hospitals (AO) and Local Health Authorities (ASL) of the Lazio Region (Central Italy) that apply four different CPs responded to a survey, which analyzes the managerial and organizational responses of CPs in regard to different contexts. Results show that the structural and organizational adjustments of the CPs have made it possible to maintain an adequate level of care for specific treatment processes, with some common critical aspects that require improvement actions. The adjustments found could be useful for dealing with new outbreaks and/or new epidemics in order to try to mitigate the potential negative impact, especially on the most vulnerable patient categories.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)635
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Cite this