Citizen-Soldier, Citizen-Developer, User-Programmer, Physician-Informaticist

I’ve argued that EHR and health IT workflow needs to become more open, transparent, and systematically improvable. And that the best candidate tech to make this possible is workflow technology, AKA workflow management systems, business process management suites, or dynamic or adaptive case management software. In a draft blog post I made an analogy between citizen-soldier and user-programmer. So this article about the idea of citizen-developer caught my attention and I tweeted about it.

“Citizen developer” is certainly consistent with “ordinary” people learning to program in the name of programming literacy, as well as the numerous hackathons and coding contests we hear about almost every day now.

After I tweeted above I rummaged around in my many blog post drafts and found this:

“Workflow technology with the ability for users to study, change, improve, and share EMR workflows, content and behavior resembles, in some respects, an open source community. What makes this possible is the user-programmer (has the ring of “citizen-soldier,” to which there may be an apt analogy). EHR workflow management system and business process management technology bring to clinical groupware the possibility that the clinicians who use clinical software will make it do what they need and want without reliance on well-meaning C#/Java programmers who can never completely understand clinical requirements.”

My point, in writing this short blog post, is simply to make the point that we need to meet these citizen-developers, user-programmers, physician-informaticists, etc. part way. By giving them the tools to create and edit and improve healthcare workflow.

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