[Facts and figures of clinical pathways in Italy: results from the PDTA Net project.]
The approval of clinical pathways (CPWs) represents a key step to focus the care management on the patient. The PDTA Net project, by ReS Foundation and CINECA, aims to create a reference tool to study how the local organizational models influence healthcare and clinical outcomes. The article shows the analysis of all CPWs approved by Italian Regions and Autonomous Provinces until 31/12/2018. The search for documents was performed on the institutional websites through specific keywords. CPWs were filled into a database, according to the Region, publication year, disease of interest (distinguishing between chronic diseases with high epidemiological impact and rare diseases) and relevant clinical area. All documents were analyzed by geographical and temporal distribution, the latter also according to ministerial measures. From 2005 to 2018, 536 Regional CPWs were approved (316 for chronic diseases with a high epidemiological impact and 220 for rare diseases). The Regions with the highest number of CPWs of chronic diseases were Umbria (34 CPWs) and Piemonte (33). The most addressed clinical areas were: oncology (72), neurology (60), cardiology (34) and metabolic disorders (22). The most issued diseases were: diabetes (17), trauma/polytrauma (15), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and multiple sclerosis (12 each), stroke (11), rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer and colorectal neoplasms (10 each). The publication of the documents was affected by ministerial measures (Balduzzi Law, National Chronicity Plan, Diabetic Disease Plan and National Dementia Plan). The majority of CPWs on rare diseases was retrieved in Regions with activated Rare Disease Networks: Lombardia (110 CPWs), Lazio (64) and Toscana (17). This study showed that, to date, in Italy there are several CPWs published at Regional level, nevertheless their structure and application are heterogeneous and strongly influenced by the National Plans. All analyzed documents are available through the web platform of the project https://fondazioneres.it/pdta/. This project could be useful for health system stakeholders, in order to encourage the transition to new health governance and making CPWs effective governance tools.