Healthcare and Business Process Modeling

Healthcare in BPMN

Field Guide for Shareable Clinical Pathways

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 process modeling standards creates a blueprint for shareable pathways across clinical institutions, thereby reducing clinical steps to simple computerized orders.

OMG has published the “Field Guide to Shareable Clinical Pathways” Version 1.0. The guide focuses on three OMG business process standards to represent clinical pathways that define distinct aspects of care workflow and decision-making: Business Process Model and Notation ™ (BPMN™), Case Management Model and Notation ™ (CMMN™) and Decision Model and Notation ™ (DMN™).

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.” 

Robert Lario
Co-chair of the Healthcare Domain Task Force (HDTF), co-author of the Field Guide and enterprise architect at VHA Office of Knowledge Based Systems

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.

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.”

Kenneth Rubin
Co-chair of the OMG HDTF, co-author of the Field Guide and director of standards for the VA Office of Knowledge Based Systems.

Field Guide

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