Dr. Charles Webster
EHR Workflow, Inc.

Our world will soon spend over 100 billion US dollars a year on health IT. Most is spent on health information management, not workflow management in the sense understood by the Business Process Management industry. However, health IT is now laying down a layer of process-centric infrastructure on a legacy layer of databases and data-centric applications. Tools, platforms, impetuous, means, and inspiration for this layer of more process-aware health IT diffuses via a variety of software including social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technology (SMAC). Even newer technologies, such as blockchain, Internet-Of-Things, and FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) promise innovative approaches to create more sophisticated process-aware health IT. Business Process Management and Workflow Management Systems have been around for decades, but have not been widely adopted in healthcare. This too is changing. BPM and WfMS based solutions increasingly appear on the health IT market. Sometimes they are identified as BPM and WfMSs, sometimes not. Many SMAC technologies incorporate ideas from BPM and WfMSs.

Furthermore, many new technologies, such as Blockchain, IoT, and FHIR present new opportunities for approaches pioneered by BPM and workflow management systems to become embedded in process-aware health IT products and services. Data-centric technologies, such as database management systems, data science platforms, business intelligence, and machine learning are themselves incorporating executable process models to improve operations.

This presentation will provide a brief history of workflow technology in healthcare, describe related technologies realizing and/or facilitating adoption of BPM and WfMSs, and point to likely future developments and directions.