Business Process Management In the PCAST Systems Engineering in Health Care Report

I’m delighted to see Business Process Management (BPM) cited in the recent PCAST Systems Engineering in Health Care report Better Healthcare and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement Through Systems Engineering.


Systems Engineering used to be called Industrial Engineering. I have a graduate degree in IE. My old department at the University of Illinois is now called the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering.

In this report they write

“Successful and sustainable improvement must involve reconfiguring the workflow and overall environment in which these professionals practice, which can help to reduce the burden of work while improving the performance of the system.”

“Reconfiguring workflow”, that’s what I blog and tweet about constantly. Sometimes I wonder what people think. Chuck, workflow, workflow, workflow, blah, blah, blah… :)

Anyway, this post is just a squib to pull out several quotes about BPM, Human Factors (part of IE) and Systems Engineering (above).

Business Process Management: cross-functional, iterative approach to optimize processes and knowledge transfers as changes occur in the system. Most common tools are software packages (vendors include IBM, Oracle) implemented to manage workflows, documents, and processes.”

Human Factors: study of the cognitive and environmental influences on human performance.”

I continue to work for, and increasingly see, awareness and diffusion and adoption of workflow technology in healthcare. The PCAST Systems Engineering in Health Care Report report is just one (particularly salient) datapoint in amidst a cloud of signs and signals that healthcare is finally beginning to take workflow seriously.


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