Health care systems need to cope with continuous changes such as with the current trends towards pay-for-performance and value-based health care. In this context, the article aims at analysing the potentials of the integration and utilisation of quality indicators in clinical pathways. It comprises the first steps of a design-oriented research process, i.e. problem motivation and objective definition. Therefore, a conceptual framework for pathway-integrated quality indicators is proposed. Potentials of the approach are outlined in three use case scenarios. The analysis points out great potentials for quality management on institutional and network level and for bridging the gap between medical research and practice. Further research topics are derived and summarised in an agenda.
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