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Proceedings Paper

Workflow management systems in radiology
Author(s): Thomas Wendler; Kirsten Meetz; Joachim Schmidt
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Paper Abstract

In a situation of shrinking health care budgets, increasing cost pressure and growing demands to increase the efficiency and the quality of medical services, health care enterprises are forced to optimize or complete re-design their processes. Although information technology is agreed to potentially contribute to cost reduction and efficiency improvement, the real success factors are the re-definition and automation of processes: Business Process Re-engineering and Workflow Management. In this paper we discuss architectures for the use of workflow management systems in radiology. We propose to move forward from information systems in radiology (RIS, PACS) to Radiology Management Systems, in which workflow functionality (process definitions and process automation) is implemented through autonomous workflow management systems (WfMS). In a workflow oriented architecture, an autonomous workflow enactment service communicates with workflow client applications via standardized interfaces. In this paper, we discuss the need for and the benefits of such an approach. The separation of workflow management system and application systems is emphasized, and the consequences that arise for the architecture of workflow oriented information systems. This includes an appropriate workflow terminology, and the definition of standard interfaces for workflow aware application systems. Workflow studies in various institutions have shown that most of the processes in radiology are well structured and suited for a workflow management approach. Numerous commercially available Workflow Management Systems (WfMS) were investigated, and some of them, which are process- oriented and application independent, appear suitable for use in radiology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 July 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3339, Medical Imaging 1998: PACS Design and Evaluation: Engineering and Clinical Issues, (13 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.319772
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas Wendler, Philips Research Labs. (Germany)
Kirsten Meetz, Philips Research Labs. (Germany)
Joachim Schmidt, Philips Research Labs. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3339:
Medical Imaging 1998: PACS Design and Evaluation: Engineering and Clinical Issues
Steven C. Horii M.D.; G. James Blaine, Editor(s)

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