Program Planning and Clinical Guidelines Development
This component considers elements for detailed program planning and key resources for the development of clinical guidelines. It provides resources to help implementers examine and plan program activities, develop care pathways and clinical protocols, and develop systems for quality mental health care delivery.
Clinical Guideline Development
A clinical pathway, also known as a care pathway, integrated care pathway, critical pathway, or care map, is one of the main tools used to manage the standardization of care processes. It has been shown that their implementation reduces the variability in clinical practice and improves outcomes. It aims to re-center the focus on the patient's overall journey, rather than a specific intervention or clinical specialty. The pathway design tries to capture the foreseeable actions which will most commonly represent best practice for most patients most of the time, and include prompts for them at the appropriate time in the pathway to ascertain whether they have been carried out and whether results have been as expected. Below are examples of care delivery sites' care pathways and clinical algorithms.
Peru's Depression Care Pathway
Clinical Assessment Tools
Clinical assessment tools are used across all sites to help evaluate a patient's clinical condition, develop appropriate treatment plans, and track a patient’s improvement. Clinicians routinely perform clinical assessments to determine what problem(s) may affect the patient and before planning the treatments or management strategies that are best to manage a patient's condition. Click here to have a summary of tools that providers use across care delivery sites.
Tools for use in an integrated, community-based mental health system of care
Zanmi Lasante developed a reference document that outlines job aids and clinical tools across different disorder care pathways tailored to various providers (physicians, nurses, psychologists/social workers, and community health workers) in Haiti. These materials build on the World Health Organization’s mhGAP Intervention Guide and provide a replicable set of implementation steps that can be adapted to settings lacking formal mental health services.
Program Planning Guide
Stay tuned for more information on best practices in program planning and a case study from Lesotho.