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What is PATH?







PATH is a performance assessment system designed by the World Health Organization to support hospitals in defining quality improvement strategies, questioning their own results and translating them into actions for improvement.
By participating in PATH, hospitals join a network that shares a number of core values such as transparency, openness and collaboration, and continuous improvement. Hospitals recognize that performance management is complex and needs to be addressed by the strategic decision-makers within hospitals as well as on the operational level by all hospital staff. The PATH system goes beyond the traditional professional divisions such as financial performance vs. clinical effectiveness, taking a more comprehensive approach to hospital performance within a framework comprising six dimensions: clinical effectiveness, efficiency, staff orientation, responsive governance, safety and patient centeredness. For each dimension, indicators were selected based on their importance and usefulness, potential impact and burden of data collection.

The internal assessment tool provided by the PATH system was not designed and developed for punitive action nor for external accountability.
Starting with performance measurement, PATH encourages hospitals to learn about their strengths and weaknesses and initiate improvement activities that ultimately help them to fulfill their mission. To reach their strategic goals, hospitals need an integrated system to monitor progress against a set of performance indicators linked to these goals. PATH is able to provide such a system and can help produce a new image of the participating institutions as it not only includes a performance measurement tool, but also focuses on the interpretation of results within the strategic local context of each hospital as well as within the hospital network, especially at country level. PATH also offers an opportunity for international benchmarking based on e.g. hospitals' specialties, types or geographical locations, to mention just a few possible options.
In this context, PATH helps hospitals identify best practices in the field through a network of hospitals as it facilitates contacts between the participants (both hospitals and providers) in order to initiate learning activities.


PATH model





"On the national level, PATH has been the first initiative in Poland to collect data on hospital performance not for reimbursement or administrative purposes but for the voluntary improvement per se. With many hospitals enrolled, we perceive PATH as the first national campaign aiming at the potential healthcare quality improvement."

PATH in Poland

Newsletter Vol. 3


"PATH was a great tool to convey a message on the multidimensional nature of performance and to foster a culture of self-evaluation for improvement with all each levels feeling accountable for performance in the hospital."

Implementing PATH in Belgium

PATH Newsletter Vol. 1