(Remarkably, two days after this interview, about healthcare workflow-as-a-service, a healthcare workflow-as-a-service won KiSSFLOW’s War-of-Workflows context. Here’s the press release. Thanks for mentioning me KiSSFLOW!)
A single tweet can lead to all kinds of interesting conversations! For example, I tweeted about a new workflow-as-a-service for Google Apps.
Developers Beware: Kissflow lets people who don’t have coding background create workflows bit.ly/PjeWH3 highly relevant 2 healthcare
— Charles Webster, MD (@EHRworkflow) August 30, 2012
Why? I’m always looking for new, easy-to-use and deploy workflow technology that can be useful in healthcare. (Hmmm. Momentary flight of fancy: Meaningful Use 2.0 certified EHR based on Google Apps and KISSFLOW? Let’s see, that’d require a variety of interfaces, lots of domain knowledge, etc. But just think of the scalable, customizable, clinical teamware… … [Snap out of it, man!] Sorry.)
By the way, just in case you think Google Apps are non-starters in healthcare due to HIPAA, here’s a systematic argument that Google Apps can be used in a HIPAA-compliant manner. Be sure to check out this Google Apps and HIPAA Security Standards Matrix!
Anyway, soon I’m tweeting back and forth with KISSFLOW’s CTO Mani Doraisamy, half a world away in Chennai, India. One thing leads to another and I nabbed a One-Minute Interview via Skype (below). Afterward, by email, Mani followed up with answers to some very basic questions about how workflow, cloud, mobile, and social are coming together, plus potential implications for healthcare.
First, here’s the One-Minute Interview. Mani is so enthusiastic and charming! Be sure to stick around until the second half so you see the big room he’ll be speaking to the next day.
One-Minute Interview with Mani Doraisamy, CTO, KISSFLOW
At the very end of this post, I added Mani’s unveiling of KISSFLOW at Google I/O. Be sure to watch it too! He demos creating of a workflow in just five steps starting at 3:30.
Mani does not work specifically in healthcare, but in “off camera” conversation, before the official One-Minute Interview, Mani was remarkably well informed. He also asked astute questions about the state of business process management (BPM) and adaptive case management (ACM) in healthcare. So, my questions sought to extrapolate Mani’s expertise into healthcare IT and the EHR space, particularly regarding workflow-as-a-service.
My last question for Mani, number six below, simply scratched a personal intellectual itch: how do cloud, mobile, and social fit together? I recently tweeted about this potentially explosive (in a good way) combo.
Combined synergistic effect gonna disrupt health IT big time! > Cloud Biggest Disruptor, Followed by Mobile then Social techvibes.com/blog/cloud-is-…
— Charles Webster, MD (@EHRworkflow) September 16, 2012
Mani’s answer to this question is amongst the more concise and perceptive I’ve yet read. Other industries, particularly BPM and ACM, seem further along in leveraging not just cloud, mobile and social, but, intriguingly, leveraging the combination of cloud, mobile and social technology. So read Mani’s answer and ponder it’s implications for healthcare.
Email from Mani Doraisamy, CTO of KISSFLOW:
Please find my answers to your questions below:
1. First of all, to make sure everyone is starting off on the same page, what are Google Apps?
Google Apps is an office productivity software on the web. It has mail, spreadsheets and document editing capability similar to Microsoft office. But, you dont have to install it in your machine. It can be accessed on your web browser. It shines when multiple people in your team are collaborating together on a document or spreadsheet.
2. What is KISSFLOW and what value does it provide to Google Apps users?
Google Apps provides free form collaboration. KiSSFLOW is a workflow solution to streamline such collaboration. For example, treatment guidelines for patients requires the team to streamline collaboration for diagnoses. With KiSSFLOW, you can specify the sequence of diagnoses based on the treatment guidelines. Automating such process reduces errors, improves patient safety and reduces cost.
3. Can you expand a bit more on this whole idea of “Workflow-as-a-service”? What are it’s implications for IT in general? Health IT in particular?
It has 2 implications:
- Traditionally, you buy and install workflow software in your computer and upgrade them when new version is available. With workflow-as-a-service, it is available on your web browser over the internet. New versions are automatically upgraded and fully managed by the workflow service provider.
- You have to pay upfront for traditional workflow software. With workflow-as-a-service, you dont have to pay upfront. You can pay based on your usage month-on-month.
It benefits industries like healthcare that are not tech savy, as it moves infrastructure and software headaches back to the vendors. It lets healthcare companies to focus on their core competency instead of worrying about IT.
4. Is it really possible for a non-programmer to create and customize their own workflows with KISSFLOW?
Yes. There is a difference in the way business users (non-programmers) and programmers think:
- Business users think only about main flow e.g: what happens when you approve.
- Programmers think of all the alternate flow irrespective of usage (e.g: what happens when you reject or when there is a clarification).
KiSSFLOW is created with business users in mind. With KISSFLOW, business user has to define only the main flow. KiSSFLOW takes care of the alternate flows.
5. Do you know of any current/potential/planned/imagined uses or use cases for KISSFLOW in healthcare?
KiSSFLOW can be used for automating clinical processes like patient care, safety initiatives and admission processes. Administrative processes like documentation, assessment completion and consent forms are also good use cases for KiSSFLOW.
6. In healthcare, as in other industries, there’s much discussion about cloud and mobile and social, but other industries are further along using and even combining them. From your perspective, how are cloud and mobile and social coming together? Lessons for healthcare?
- Cloud is about operational efficiency - How do you outsource your IT in a cost effective manner. It lets you focus on your core business problem.
- Mobile is about accessibility and agility - How fast and easily can you access data from anywhere to server better.
- Social is about customer retention and reputation management - How do we get customer feedback & improve on them and how do we spread the word from happy customers.
Together they create a powerful combination that help us to be better organized internally and customer focused externally.
Please let me know if you any more information!
And here’s Mani introducing KISSFLOW at Google I/O:
Mani creates a Google App workflow in just five steps starting at 3:30
If you’re intrigued, and do something interesting in healthcare with KISSFLOW, please come back here and tell me about it!