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Live from InterACT (not really): When Rules Make the Best Medicine

This excellent session on the use of business rules in improving the delivery of healthcare was given by Mark Clare,VP of Knowledge and Information Management Parkview Health and  Adjunct Professor at Northwestern.

Mark presented on how Parkview Health is using GE Healthcare's Centricity Enterprise (formerly IDX Carecast) product and Blaze Advisor to improve patient care. Parkview is clearly a leader in its adoption of technology to improve care and Mark outlined a list of technology that Parkview is using already.

When it came to their use of Blaze Advisor to manage registration rules, patient care documentation rules, pharmacy rules and other workflow items Mark had some useful observations that seem to me particularly useful for all kinds of rules implementations.

  • Even simple rules can sometimes help a lot
  • If you are embedding rules into complex processes, such as patient care, you need to worry about "cognitive fit". That is, the rules should work with the process and the way people think and not against them. For instance, you don't want to stop a doctor with a warning at an awkward moment as they might just click past it.
  • You need good knowledge engineering to make sure rules are maintainable and execute with the speed you need.
  • You need knowledge governance to build consensus around rules that cross disciplines or involve hard stops.
  • You need knowledge value to tie valuable and improved outcomes to your rules.

These four concepts are particularly key in complex environments like medicine but are true to a greater or lesser extent everywhere.

Mark presented his material as part of a Health Data Management webinar also.

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