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Wrap-up 2015

Wrap-up 2015

In the workshop, we wanted to bring together different backgrounds, from different countries and discuss the current process-oriented approach on care delivery and how we can evolve to a better system. What challenges are there in care organizations or in a specific hospital setting, what are the current difficulties to realize those challenges and how can we overcome them. Are the challenges the same in every country or does it differ based on the social demography, political ideologies, etc.?

The ProCare workshop started with a small introduction of the purpose of the workshop, followed by an introduction to iMinds. In a keynote presentation, Jan Van Ooteghem (Ghent University – IBCN – iMinds, Belgium) presented the currently ongoing iMinds Health ICON research project HIPS. After the keynote presentation, 5 papers were presented:

Femke De Backere (Ghent University – IBCN – iMinds, Belgium) presented the paper “Discovery of the Potential Role of Sensors in a Personal Emergency Response System: What Can We Learn from a Single Workshop?” presenting the results from the iMinds ICON project, FallRisk. Steven Mertens (Ghent University – MIS, Belgium) introduced how dynamic business process management can be applied in the healthcare sector. Saskia Robben and Lilian Bosch (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands) focused on developing a system for better facilitating communication and task coordination between formal and informal caregivers and elderly as care receivers, which was part of the AAL project Care4Balance. Ustun Yildiz (Agency of Health Informatics, Ankara, Turkey) researched how clinical pathway management systems can be used to model and express complex and non-deterministic clinical phenomena, in which clinicians are interested. Finally Ayca Tarhan (Department of Computer Engineering Hacettepe University, Turkey) showed how techniques and tools used to assess the maturity of organizational processes, such as the Capability Maturity Model and the Business Process Maturity Model, can be used in healthcare to improve those processes and workflows.

The workshop was wrapped up by a discussion on how we can proceed, how the discussion can stay alive and what the next steps are in this research domain. As the audience and presenters of the workshop saw this domain from different angles, from techno-economic, (knowledge) engineering, user research or other domains where process management already has proven their use and effect, there was a lively discussion and interesting conclusions could be drawn, based on the different angles from the attendees:

  • Information technology: We should move to a more integrated and interoperable system, where all data is connected and held in a secure and private manner, which then can be used to improve processes and dynamically adapt them.
  • User: By carrying out workshops, field trials and user studies, it is possible to take the experiences gained and internal knowledge from all different stakeholders into account at an early stage of research and development and make sure the innovative solutions are accepted by all users.
  • Processes and workflows: Processes and workflows are often developed based on internal knowledge and limited evidence. The only way to monitor and improve them is to define and evaluate clear operational metrics. Therefore, there is a huge need for data, which can be used to prove that processes are improving based on specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Standardize: This should be done by using standardized clinical pathways and procedures. However, there should always be an open mind to derive from the suggested process or the workflow, supported context information and dynamic workflow management, aligning all resources and activities upon the patient’s treatment process.
  • Quality: To ensure the quality of process, there is a need for tools and a supportive organizational culture, benchmarking the processes, to know what was implemented in order to have a good overview on the AS IS situations to improve and optimize them. The broader view should be taken into account combining and optimizing KPIs, such as costs, patient experience and quality of care.
  • Pervasive technologies: The introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the healthcare domain is proven to be a challenge and could be improved. Further research should require overcoming the reluctance of introducing IoT at patient’s premises, providing insights in the operational benefits for hospital and care organizations. The further use and integration of these systems should evolve in the future to enable better process and workflow management, in order to 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 we can invite other researchers from the domain and keep the discussion alive. A twitter account was set up to communicate during the event. 

Importance of taking part in the Pervasive Health Conference

The Pervasive Health community enables us to present our research to researchers with different backgrounds. They do all have a different perspective on the challenges, problems and solutions in this domain, but all their opinions, input and thoughts are priceless and valuable for future steps in our research. As they sometimes see the domain from a different point of view, they provide insights we did not think about or thought that were not needed to take into account.

Expertise from Ghent University - IBCN and iMinds

Within IBCN, there are different perspectives (research topics) present towards the pervasive health research, such as mobile sensors and their integration, knowledge management, techno-economics and the HomeLab of iLab.t. As IBCN already participated in research projects where pervasive technologies are researched and used, such as the iMinds ICON projects OCareClouds, ACCIO, FallRisk, HIPS and the AAL project Care4Balance, we want to share our experiences with our fellow researchers in other universities and in industry. By combining all the expertise within the iMinds consortium, we contribute to the pervasive health research and share our experiences and conclusions.

For this ProCare workshop, the techno-economics group of IBCN and the knowledge management group joined forces together with other Ghent University research groups MIS (Management Information Systems) and CSI (Center for Service Intelligence) from the faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

Author timeline

Paper submission
March 15th, 2015
March 31st, 2015
Final paper submission
April 10th, 2015