Healthcare and Business Process Modeling
Most healthcare systems depend on diagrams and flow charts to document how clinical procedures should happen. These pathways, limited in details, are often stored in binders or saved in desktop computers. Applying OMG business process modeling standards creates a blueprint for shareable pathways across clinical institutions, thereby reducing clinical steps to simple computerized orders.
Members of BPM+ Health and the OMG Healthcare Domain Task Force have published Version 2.0 of the "Field Guide to Shareable Clinical Pathways." This is largely a technical update and v2 includes expansion around patterns of usage.
The Field Guide leverages standard-based methods from OMG, HL7, and HSPC to represent and share the clinical knowledge. By applying formal models to healthcare practice patterns, the information becomes computer-consumable and automatable, giving doctors and clinicians evidence-based information at the point of care. The aim of this guide is to show how business process and case modeling standards can be used to improve the efficiency, consistency, and quality of clinical care employed and shared across healthcare institutions.
BPMN is a well-defined standard that creates workflow diagrams to promote a common understanding of their meaning by different participants. CMMN complements BPMN with additional capabilities for unstructured behaviors triggered and continuously influenced by the information flowing into the case. DMN provides an understandable table format to model the combinations of factors that must be considered for complex, clinical decisions.
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The use of these three modeling standards, particularly BPMN, is well established in business. The purpose of the Field Guide is to apply standard techniques for business process modeling and decision modeling, proven in other industries, to healthcare to rapidly share and distribute good clinical workflow practices across institutions.
Healthcare expenses and complexity continue to increase the world-over. As new technologies and clinical practices evolve, the opportunities exist to improve both the care experience and care quality delivered. This is realized not within one institution, but among institutions by effectively sharing data and workflows as part of a collaborative care process. This Field Guide is a practical step toward realizing the great potential of healthcare IT's role for accessible, efficient, and high-quality healthcare.