Healthcare Business Process Management, Adaptive Case Management & Process-Aware EHR & Health IT Systems

Health IT

Workflow Complexity: Complicated data and simple workflow is complicated. Simple data and complicated workflow is complicated. Healthcare's complicated data and complicated workflow is hypercomplicated.

No Cost Competition: In other industries, companies are forced to adopt technology to optimize workflow to minimize cost while maximizing flexibility.

Regulatory Environment: EHR and HIT vendors are stretched thin addressing Meaningful Use requirements.

Screens vs. Workflow: It’s easier to appreciate EHR screens (layout of data and controls over space) than workflow functionality (sequences of events over time).

Threat to Revenue Streams: Switching to new platforms is risky and threatens current revenue streams.

Billing Over Clinical Emphasis: As long as the right codes are generated to maximize revenue, nothing else matters.

Skeuomorphism: Misguided attempts to model EHR user interfaces on paper medical record forms.

Workflow Stereotypes: Workflow management systems and business process management once emphasized automating human users out of processes. Not true now!

Not Invented Here-ism: Most academic and commercial BPM activity occurs outside the US.

Paradigm Shifts: You stick with a paradigm unless you’re forced to change. Health IT picked a document-based, instead of workflow-based, paradigm.

*Top Ten Reasons EHR-BPM Tech Is Not (Yet) Widely Deployed in Healthcare

Blog Posts

BPM and Complex-Event Processing Saves Lives

Short Link: http://ehr.bz/sie Siemens Healthcare has been a pioneer in bringing business process management technology to healthcare, starting with the Soarian hospital EHR workflow management system over a decade ago. I've written about Soarian and Siemens here in my EHR Workflow Management Systems blog. I included material about Siemens Soarian in my three-hour tutorial on EHR Workflow Management Systems at the old TEPR conference. And I occasionally tweet about them from my @EHRworkflow account.

More and more BPM vendors are getting into the deeper end of the healthcare swimming pool, closer and closer to clinical patient care. It's a big project to educate healthcare and health IT about process-aware information systems such as Soarian. It's a paradigm shift (#3 in my Ten Reasons EHR-BPM Tech Is Not (Yet) Widely Deployed in Healthcare) from mere structured documents to robust structured workflows. So I was delighted to see this crisp, clear and concise description of the benefits of business process management and complex-event processing in a healthcare and hospital context.

Some people like to skim text and others like to watch video. For the readers like me, I transcribed the interview (30 seconds versus two minutes?). It's also a way to make sure the search engines find this important material. After the interview I added some links to related blog posts about topics mentioned in the interview.


"My name is Tommy Richardson [@Techdadda on Twitter]. I'm the Chief Technology Officer and VP for Technology for Siemens Healthcare

To us what is most exciting about TIBCO is that most companies out there today are hardcoding when building their systems. They've got hardcoded rules, hardcoded workflows, hardcoded integrations.

What's exciting to us about TIBCO is using TIBCO's BPM and enterprise service bus to build much more flexible and systems that can be much more easily extended for our clients. So you can think about some hospitals have certain workflows when you go to emergency. Others may want to change that and say when [the patient] first comes in skip the insurance collection and send him back to the room if he's seriously hurt.

So we're using the tools TIBCO has given us to build this tremendous flexibility into the system, where we can have different workflows for the hospital organizations and the hospitals organizations can even change and update the workflows we deliver with TIBCO's products today.

TIBCO's technologies are extremely important to us.

The data that's changing in our systems is flowing over the TIBCO enterprise service bus. Using the complex event processing, the workflow, and the rules allow us to get a two-second advantage.

So we can look at the data that is changing immediately, whether it's from taking someone's blood pressure and knowing there's a problem to monitoring their cardiac test to discharge to admission. All the different events that happen in healthcare you can use the TIBCO tools to, in a second or two, make real life-determining decisions.

That's the really key thing about healthcare that's certainly different from other industries. Other industries are using the tools to make dollars. We're using it to save peoples' lives.

That brings chills up my spine just talking about it.

That's the special stuff."

Special indeed!

Great interview! Reminds me of my infamous HatCam One-Minute Interviews (well, length- and content-wise, though not production quality).

If you'd like to learn more about EHR workflow technology and EHR complex event processing, I hope you'll check out some of the following links:

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BPM Solutions

Process Orchestration Engine (AKA workflow engine) to drive the progression of work in structured and unstructured processes or cases

Model-Driven Composition environment for designing processes and their supporting activities and process artifacts

Content Interaction Management supporting e progression of work, especially cases, based on changes in the content itself (documents, images and audio)

Human Interaction Management enables people to naturally interact with processes they're involved in

Connected Processes and Resources they control, such as people, systems, data, event streams, goals and key performance indicators (KPIs)

Continuous Analytics monitor activity progress, and analyze activities and changes in and around processes

On-Demand Analytics to provide decision support using predictive analytics and optimization

Business Rule Management systems guide and implement process agility and ensure compliance

Management and Administration monitor and adjust technical aspects of BPM platform

Process Component Registry/Repository for process component leverage and reuse

Cloud-Based Deployment of about features and functions across desktop platforms and mobile devices

Social Media Compatible external and/or similar internal activity streams integrated with workflows

*Adapted from Gartner

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