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Abstract

Inconsistent and incomplete information due to the diversity of isolated information systems is one of the major problems information technology faces in the healthcare sector. The insufficient integration of actors results in delays in clinical processes. However, due to strict constraints in health care such as health regulations, clinical processes cannot be modified freely. The approach of this work is to apply the less radical principles of Business Process Management to medical information systems to provide reliable and timely access to relevant patient information and to decrease process lead time. In particular, this work outlines the impact of optimization for administrative processes. To substantiate our research, we performed a case study in collaboration with a healthcare provider and a regional healthcare facility in the U.S. We report on the workflow implementation of a clinical infection control process which integrates disparate systems and automates clinical decision making according to clinical knowledge. The post-metrics clearly emphasize the capability of Business Process Management to improve the integration of information, increase the quality of patient care, reduce health worker's stress, and ease costs of treatment by significantly shortening process lead time. We conclude with a generalization of the results for other healthcare enterprises.

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