Process mining time-stamped data from electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT systems promises new methods to systematically improve patient care processes and workflow usability. It can discover evidence-based process models, or maps, from time-stamped user and patient behavior. It can detect deviations from intended process models relevant to minimizing medical error and maximizing patient safety. It can suggest ways to enhance healthcare process effectiveness, efficiency, and user and patient satisfaction.
Until now there was only one practical option for process mining EHR and HIT data, the free and open source ProM process mining tool available at ProcessMining.org. It’s a great tool. I used it for my presentation on EHR process mining at the recent Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference in Las Vegas (six-page paper, narrated slide video). But, as I predicted, new and notable commercial mining tools are emerging. The most recent is Disco (for “Discovery” of processes) from Fluxicon.
(Link to interview on YouTube, viewable on smartphones)
If you’re interested in process mining, you’ve got lots of options, including:
- Download a demo of Disco and then contact Fluxicon, directly, about purchasing a license or renting one month-to-month. Depending on the revenue and expense associated with the process in question, even a small improvement will pay for the software. The rest, as they say, is gravy.
- Work with a consultant who uses Disco. If you describe your needs, Fluxicon can recommend someone. If you’re dealing with HIT or EHR event data and processes… (That’s a hint to consider moi!)
- Get yourself to the Process Mining Camp this upcoming June 4th in Einthoven, Netherlands. It’s free!
- Download ProM, the free and open source process mining tool from ProcessMining.org. That’s what I did for my presentation at HSPI in Las Vegas. I’ll even send you my forty line demo event log. Between my paper and online narrated slides, you’ll be up and running lickity-split. And ready to graduate to Disco.
- Prepare your event log data in the right format (instructions here, also see second page of my EHR process mining paper), zip it, password protect it, and send it to me. I have permission from Fluxicon to turn the crank on Disco and send you back examples of process maps and related reports.
I’ve been promoting process-aware ideas and technology in healthcare for over a decade. Process mining can transform your process-unaware information system into a process-aware information system. You’re going to hear a lot more about process mining, so you might as well get started now.
Good luck to Anne Rozinat and Christian W. Günther of Fluxicon and their new process mining product Disco!