Let’s Use Dell Business Process Management for End-to-End Healthcare Service Delivery and Transformation

Every year, since 2013, I participate in the Dell #DoMoreHIT Healthcare Think Tank online event. (My past tweets on #DoMoreHIT hashtag.) It’s a wonderful opportunity to push my monomaniacal agenda :) to raise awareness about the need to deploy more true workflow technology in healthcare. This year my angle is this: Let’s Use the Dell Business Process Management Suite In Healthcare! Your mission, should you decide, to accept it…. wait, I’m getting ahead of my self. Please read on.


PTBE: Photo To Be Explained

Part of my assumed role as a HIMSS Social Media Ambassador is to use whatever means necessary to accelerate diffusion of workflow tech into healthcare and health IT. Dell will be at the upcoming HIMSS15 conference in Chicago, booth 955. I hope you’ll inquire into their workflow solutions. Healthcare needs more workflow technology and you can help!


The theme of the #DoMoreHIT Think Tank is entrepreneurship, consumerism, and social media. There are lots of interesting connections from those topics to workflow platforms (see my The Intelligent Workflows Behind Engaging Patient Experiences). Look for my tweets on the #DoMoreHIT hashtag on Monday from 11AM to 2PM EST). In this post I’ll drill down into features and benefits of the Dell Business Process Management Suite. The following is a series of quotes I pulled from the Dell BPM brochure along with my amplifying comments.

Dell BPM Suite Relevance to Healthcare
“there’s a growing need to radically change the problem-solving mindset to reduce, streamline and eliminate repetitive process work” So true in healthcare!
“Dell Services has pioneered the concept of Automated Full-Time Employees (AFTEs). The Dell AFTE solution includes over 50 vertical specific and vertical-agnostic tools that reduce, if not completely eliminate, human effort by automating repetitive, high-volume and rules-based tasks.” Interesting! Automated Full-Time Employees. Everyone knows, or should know, that a majority of healthcare cost is expensive human labor. In fact, when setting up a budget one speaks of fully loaded FTEs — no, not inebriated, basically the total cost of an employee, not just compensation. So Dell’s AFTE potentially goes to the very heart of healthcare costs.
  • “Utilize a complex set of sequential process activities, logically broken down by business rules
  • Repeat specific steps without variation and with a high degree of accuracy
  • Enable a set of man-machine interactions that are designed to reduce effort by as much as 50 percent
  • Perform certain activities automatically”
So far, a classic description of business process management!
Benefits of Dell AFTE:

  • Reduce costs: AFTEs cost significantly lower than the price of an offshore full-time employee (FTE).
    Increase efficiency: AFTEs can potentially work 24×7 and each AFTE can replace approximately two to three FTEs.
  • Improve accuracy: AFTEs eliminate errors that humans make in high-volume processes such as missed process steps, inaccurate data entry or calculation errors. AFTEs do it the right way, every time.
  • Utilize in-depth industry knowledge: Using embedded industry knowledge, the AFTE solution is able to automate complex process such as medical coding, claims adjudication and accounts receivable management.
  • Improve speed to market: AFTEs give you the ability to ramp up your process volumes through an iterative implementation model.
  • Improve regulatory compliance: Through detailed audit trails and the assurance of programmatically delivered processes, AFTEs ensure compliance with industry regulations.”
Each and every one of these benefits is highly relevant to healthcare. My favorite? Utilize in-depth industry knowledge. Because this exactly what makes healthcare different. (In fact. it’s what makes every industry different!) Note the mention of medical coding. One of the great debates and push-backs regarding ICD-10 is the increase in the amount of work required by physicians. So, why not use BPM/AFTE’s help reduce cost, increase efficiency, improve accuracy, speed to market, and regulatory compliance of ICD-10 initiatives? (I’ve seen signs of some progress here, but not nearly enough, in my opinion.)
“So what does it take to replace human effort with AFTEs? The Dell AFTE model utilizes an iterative process to deconstruct work activities through identification of each micro step and reconstruction of the work activity by deploying a combination of automated techniques and manual effort.” Again, a classic workflow management/BPM approach. As I have said, over-and-over, we need to create models of work and workflow, and then execute and mechanically consult those models, to systematically improve usability, safety, productivity, interoperability, and even patient experience and engagement.
“we have been automating workflow and knowledge management tasks since 2001. The toolset’s evolution has absorbed thousands of ideas from business process practitioners, leading to the creation of a self-learning, seamlessly integrated suite of business process management applications.” Cool. Not a BPM noobie. Self-learning … can you spell learning health care systems?
“Workflow management portal:

  • Skills- and role-based routing logic is used to enable workforce specialization and collaboration across the process chain
  • Its rapid configuration capability enables automated access to files, work process flow design and efficient, granular measurement, as well as process productivity and quality reporting
  • Estimated 10–15 percent improvement of productivity and quality”
Again. Classic. Now think on this. Dell already supplies enormous amounts of tech products and services to the healthcare industry. Given the incredibly complementary fit between the long list of workflow related problems in healthcare, causing a long list of usability, safety, productivity, interoperability, and patient experience and engagement problems in healthcare, the following has just got be inevitable. Dell BPM tech in healthcare. In fact, it’s already here! (See next entry…)
“CodeFinder and ezyCode

  • International Classification of Diseases/Current Procedural Terminology (ICD/CPT) online code finder including cross-walk solution
  • Automated medical coding using natural language processing”
Nuff said! (well, at least here, in this particular table cell element… please read on…)

In addition to Dell’s foundational work Process Management Layer, Dell also describes its Process Transformation Layer (analytics for process health indicators and key performance indicators). And describes its Integration and Access Layer (accepts input variety of formats and from market leading integration tools, plus access via web, Android, and iOS). So you can see that Dell BPM tech is not just relevant to usability, productivity, consistency, agility, etc., but to workflow interoperability as well.

You Mission, Should You Decide To Accept It…

One of my many little projects, adding up to my very big main project (workflow-ization of healthcare?), is finding companies with both a health IT footprint and a workflow tech foot print, and trying to get those feet working together. So, when you get to HIMSS15, go the Dell booth #955, and ask them about using the Dell Business Process Management Suite to solve your healthcare workflow problems.

Tell them The Secretary sent you (who will, of course, disavow any knowledge of your mission).

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