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

BPM, TQM, Six Sigma, Lean, EHRs, and Health IT


Now, I imagine we may have some healthcare process improvement folks out there and so what is the relationship between BPM and the healthcare process improvement? Back when I got my masters in industrial engineering, the management engineers that worked in hospitals and elsewhere, they were involved in both sides of an equation. They were creating and implementing many of the first information systems.


I worked in a hospital information systems department where the payroll system had been developed and implemented and managed by a management engineer, an industrial engineer. Then what happened is a bunch of folks went off and they started developing electronic health records and other health IT systems and you’ve got this research behind it, which is medical informatics. I don’t think they spent enough energy and time thinking about workflow problems and workflow theories and creating workflow tools.


Meanwhile, over on the other side, we’ve got the total quality management folks, Six Sigma and Lean. They’re finding the causes of errors. They’re finding the sources of variation and eliminating it. They’re figuring how to do the same amount of work but with less waste. Well, the problem is, is that more and more work is actually done in a kind of a mind-meld with the software. We really need to knit together these two traditions and I think that the healthcare business process management hybrid is a way to do that.

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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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