Organized by Internet Based Communication Networks and Services (IBCN), iMinds, the Center of Service Intelligence (CSI) and the Management Information Systems (MIS), the workshop aimed at stimulating innovation through the introduction of novel IT solutions in a multidisciplinary field, certainly in pervasive healthcare. The different perspectives on the process-oriented approach included: User, Technology, Legal, Organizational, Economics, Information Systems, Case studies, Tools and Demos .
ProCare2015 started with a small introduction of the purpose of the workshop, followed by an introduction to iMinds. In a keynote presentation, Jan Van Ooteghem presented the currently ongoing research project HIPS. This project aims to coordinate optimally the management processes of available resources in a hospital and the associated information flows with the patient care process, and this in a flexible and transparent way to keep operational KPIs in balance.
After the keynote presentation, five papers were presented:
• Discovery of the Potential Role of Sensors in a Personal Emergency Response System: What Can We Learn from a Single Workshop? was presented by Femke De Backere (Ghent University – IBCN – iMinds). During the FallRisk ICON project, the current Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) was investigated, as well as how it could be improved to make it more context-aware and pervasive.
• Steven Mertens (Ghent University – MIS) introduced Supporting and assisting the execution of flexible healthcare processes, a paper on how business process management can be applied in the healthcare sector. The research focuses on developing a recommendation-based robust business process engine, which is able to not only support a more process-driven approach in healthcare, but also assist the users.
• The AAL project Care4Balance researched a system for better facilitating communication and task coordination between formal and informal caregivers and elderly as care receivers. Saskia Robben and Lilian Bosch (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) presented the project’s conclusions: Managing flexible care with a context aware system for ageing-in-place.
• Ustun Yildiz (Agency of Health Informatics, Ankara) presented Modeling Evidence-Based Medicine Applications with Provenance Data in Pathways, a research on how clinical pathway management systems can be used to model and express complex and nondeterministic clinical phenomena, in which clinicians are interested.
• Assessing Healthcare Process Maturity: Challenges Of Using A Business Process Maturity Model was presented by Ayca Tarhan (Department of Computer Engineering Hacettepe University), who gave an overview of the experiences and observations on assessing the healthcare processes of a hospital department in accordance to a well-known Business Process Maturity Model.
The workshop was wrapped up by a discussion on how the healthcare domain can proceed, how the discussion can stay alive and what the next steps are in this research field. As the audience and presenters saw it from different angles, it was possible to draw interesting conclusions based on different point of views and key-elements:
- Information Technology is definitely a part of the data and the processes. A new and integrated system, where all data is gathered and held in a secure and private manner, is strongly necessary.
- Delicate and important issues concern Users: how can people be involved? How can stakeholders be taken into account? Will elderly people be able to accept and use new technologies?
- Access to data is also a big challenge: there is a huge need for data, which can be used to prove that processes are improving. Therefore, issues arise on where data are located, where they are stored and how to protect the owner’s privacy.
- Several presenters indicated that there is a need for standardization in healthcare. This can be done by using clinical pathways of clinical guidelines. . However, there should always be an open mind to derive from the suggested processes, as the patient should be central during a treatment.
- To ensure the quality of process, there is a need for tools and there is a big need for a supportive organizational culture. Especially there is a need for strategic planning on how to align the domain and on how to create awareness. There is a need for benchmarking the processes. This way, it is possible to evolve to a better TO BE scenario, where processes and workflows are used in their full potential.
- The pervasive side, especially in hospitals, is still less managed and taken into account. It seems to be more difficult to introduce, although during the conference it was showed that introducing pervasive technology in healthcare would optimize the patient-centered care delivery.
In order to further discuss and work together on these topics a LinkedIn group and mailing list will be created where other researchers from the field can participate in the discussion and keep it alive.