Workshop Goals

Healthcare organizations are facing the challenge of delivering high quality services to their patients at affordable costs. These challenges become more prominent with the growth in the aging population with chronic diseases and the rise of healthcare costs. High degree of specialization of medical disciplines, huge amounts of medical knowledge and patient data to be consulted in order to provide evidence-based re­com­mendations, and the need for personalized healthcare are prevalent trends in this information-intensive domain. The emerging situation necessitates computer-based support of healthcare process & knowledge management as well as clinical decision-making.

This workshop brings together researchers from two communities who have been addressing these challenges from two different perspectives. The knowledge-representation for healthcare community, which is part of the larger medical informatics community, has been focusing on knowledge representation and reasoning to support knowledge management and clinical decision-making. This community has been developing efficient representations, technologies, and tools for integrating all the important elements that health care providers work with: Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and healthcare information systems, clinical practice guidelines, and standardized medical vocabularies. The process-oriented information systems in healthcare community, which is part of the larger business process management (BPM) community, has been studying ways to adopt BPM technology in order to provide effective solutions for healthcare process management. BPM technology has been successfully used in other sectors for establishing process-aware enterprise information systems (vs. collections of stand-alone systems for different departments in the organization). Adopting BPM technology in the healthcare sector is starting to address some of the unique characteristics of healthcare processes, including their high degree of flexibility, the integration with EMRs and shared semantics of healthcare domain concepts, and the need for tight cooperation and communication among medical care teams.

This joint workshop brings together two approaches: healthcare process support, as addressed in previous ProHealth workshops, and healthcare knowledge representation as dealt with in previous KR4HC workshops. The workshop shall elaborate both the potential and the limitations of the two approaches for supporting healthcare process & healthcare knowledge management as well as clinical decision-making. It shall further provide a forum wherein challenges, paradigms, and tools for optimized knowledge-based clinical process support can be debated. We want to bring together researchers and practitioners from these different, yet similar fields to improve the understanding of domain specific requirements, methods and theories, tools and techniques, and the gaps between IT support and healthcare processes yet to be closed. This forum also provides an opportunity to  explore how the approaches from the two communities could be better integrated.