Good Overview of BPM Advantages To Which I Add Healthcare Relevance

I used to write press releases, so I know the challenges of describing complicated technology in simple and alluring ways. This press release, Red Hat Polishes Business Process Management Suite, caught my eye because it nicely summaries advantages of BPM and related tech I’ve been touting to healthcare for years.

“BPM software can automate organizational workflows than span multiple applications. In many cases, it can serve as an alternative to building a new application, by managing a process that involves different applications”


See my post From Syntactic and Semantic to Pragmatic Interoperability In Healthcare.

“BPM found a home in many enterprises because it allows business managers to cobble together workflows without relying on the sometimes scarce resources of the IT department”

Ditto. (Though I have a webinar I’m about to put online that includes addressing the role of BPM tech in bridging legacy systems. Will post link here.)

“BRMS provides a platform for defining business rules so computers can make decisions based on these rules …. BRMS, and other business rules management software, minimizes the need to encode business rules directly into an application, which can be cumbersome to update should the rules change over time”

Health IT already has Clinical Decision Support functionality. But physicians complain it’s not aligned well with their workflows. The great thing about business rules management integrated into business process management is this alignment is much easier to achieve.

“Instead of coding everything in COBOL, which would be very hard for users to understand what the business rules are, you separate the rules from the application itself, and manage them independently of the application code”

This is related to the idea that health IT needs “open workflow”, workflow transparent to and editable by health IT system users. There’s my open workflow post and my physician-developer (of EHR workflow) post.

“more powerful BPM modeling capabilities for instance, which provide a graphical way for business users to understand how the processes work. It also offers business activity monitoring (BAM), which supplies a summary of processes in operation”

Many EHRs and much health IT obscures workflow in motion. Workflow state is hidden behind complicated screens in inaccessible database tables.

“complex event processing (CEP). CEP takes BRM a step further, allowing managers to define rules based on changing criteria …. planning engine that can calculate the optimal use of limited resources. [and] boost CEP capabilities”

I’ve written here, here, and here about complex event processing, business process management and healthcare.

“simulation capability is based on the open source BPSim (Business Process Simulation Interchange) standard, which seeks to bring uniformity to the parameters between the BPM models and the processes they represent”

Wouldn’t it be great if your EHR could not just allow you, a non-programmer, to customize workflow, but to simulate effects of workflow change on a variety of performance statistics? Well, if the EHR was built on a BPM platform, as I’ve argued for for years, you could do exactly this.

“drag and drop interface as well as graphical data and process modelers”

Because you’re not a programmer and you don’t want to have to become a programmer to merely improve your workflow.

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