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What Are the Benefits of Healthcare Business Process Management (BPM)?

Posted by Diane Kulisek on December 1, 2009

This question (a collection of questions, actually) was posted on LinkedIn by Yousef Mahmoud, PMP, a business process management consultant with EJADA Systems in Saudi Arabia. (http://www.linkedin.com/in/yousefmahd ):

What are the added values to health care organizations gained through Business Process Management with respect to incorporating standards and Quality means?  What are the standards and certificates available for health care org?  ISO?  What GCI for health care institutes?  How can BPM initiatives help health care org apply these standards efficiently?

Diane Kulisek’s Answer (selected as the ‘best’ of two ‘good’ answers posted on LinkedIn):

Quality Management is, in my opinion, at it’s most effective when managed as a system of interrelated processes. Standards are helpful in establishing a Quality Management System (QMS) because, typically, those who develop the standards are world class experts within the industries they represent and for whom the standards are intended to be effective. The standards such people develop take into consideration practicality as well as intangible values (which may matter most to customers and stakeholders).

The value of a Quality Management System, regardless of what standard or criterion might be used, is that it provides a basis for determining the overall effectiveness of multiple processes critical to effective provision of customer (patient) care and while strategically, proactively, addressing the needs of stakeholders (financial resources). Having a quality management system in place better assures that anticipated potential but unplanned expenses related to poor quality have been effectively mitigated (i.e. to prevent or reduce the potential for malpractice and liability related expenses).

I have found that there is also value with regard to improved employee retention and morale by having the solid foundation of a top management supported system to inspire continual process and service improvement on a company-wide (or health care facility-wide) basis.

With regard to what standards or certificates might be available for health care, I recommend you contact the American Society for Quality’s Healthcare Division (http://www.asq.org/health/ ) for the latest developments. Another source of guidance that may be of value to you is the Baldrige National Quality Program’s “Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence”.   A .pdf copy of these guidelines is available from the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) at http://www.baldrige.nist.gov/HealthCare_Criteria.htm . You may also request that a hardcopy be mailed to you from that website.

I believe these resources could be helpful to any nation’s health care improvement efforts and they are certainly available to you via the internet.

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