Who Or What Is The Workflow Engine: That Is The Question: Process-Aware HIT

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CONCLUSION

Table 2 is this author’s mental model of the evolution of the electronic health record toward the EHR workflow
management system. First, systems were developed for patient charting. If an EHR cannot chart patient data, 14
then it scarcely seems to qualify as an EHR at all. Then, additional functions and capabilities were added in a drive to eliminate paper (except for that which must be scanned in from the outside world or printed in order to communicate back). However, even when the paperless office is achieved, this does not mean that the paperless office is efficient. EHR workflow management systems take us to that next step in the evolution of the EHR, in which we have not only gotten rid of paper but inefficiency as well.

evolution

EHR workflow management systems have already begun to make their mark. Each of the first two HIMSS pri- mary care Davies Award (2003 and 2004) include pediatricians who relied on an EHR workflow management system to achieve remarkable improvements in volume, billing, cost, and convenience—for themselves and their patients.
When you look at an EHR and wonder whether or not it is an EHR workflow management system, ask yourself this question: Who or what is the workflow engine? If the answer is “who”, this is bad, because “who” is a per- son, a potentially expensive professional who should not be wasting their time pursuing non-value-added EHR activities. If the answer is “what”, this is good, because “what” is a much less expensive inanimate object, the computer. If the computer can accomplish non-value-added activities and help coordinate value-added activities, then workflow is likely being automated by a true EHR workflow management system.


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Take me to the next blog post in this series! References for EHR Workflow Management Systems: Process-Aware HIT.

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