BPM investments can save lives in healthcare

Business process discussions are not always a priority in healthcare. Topics like keeping patients alive, making care affordable and improving treatment are critical. However, government efforts to reform the sector have made process management innovation imperative. Processes are not more important than patients, but the cost of care issue is becoming such a problem that the healthcare sector looked unsustainable just a few years ago. Efforts to deploy electronic health records and similar solutions have helped bring the industry forward, but these initiatives have also changed how doctors get the job done, making business process management for healthcare a valuable option within the industry.

Considering BPM in hospital settings

One of the greatest challenges currently facing physicians is keeping up with Meaningful Use Stage 2 standards. These regulations go beyond simply expecting good EHR deployments to be in place and attempt to push doctors to complete certain processes during patient consultation. For example, a doctor may be able to check off a point toward meaningful use by asking patients about certain lifestyle choices so clinical staff members can keep a close eye out for any health conditions related to that behavior.

This kind of process implementation can be a simple way to keep an eye on patients, but it can also be difficult for physicians to keep track of when they are dealing with all of their other day-to-day operations. This is an area where having data available across EHR and care apps can help physicians not only get access to the information they need, but also have that information presented in a way that is conducive to enabling process efficiency.

BPM applications can also have a major impact on the business side of hospitals. Getting information and forms to follow patients from check in through their entire stay can be extremely difficult, leading to slower processing, delays in care, billing problems and other operational issues that create costs and put patients at risk. The process integration and automation capabilities offered by BPM solutions can alleviate this process burden and position hospitals to enable operational improvements throughout the entire care life cycle.

Healthcare reform offers hospitals an opportunity to enable better business processes that improve patient care and, ultimately, save lives. BPM software can act as a key cog within the reform machine by giving care providers an intuitive way to apply technological gains to their day-to-day processes.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications