Title: System mapping of complex healthcare processes using IDEF0: a radiotherapy example

Authors: Sasa Mutic, R. Scott Brame, Swetha Oddiraju, Jeff M. Michalski, Bin Wu

Addresses: Department of Radiation Oncology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 4921 Parkview Place, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. ' Department of Radiation Oncology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 4921 Parkview Place, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. ' Department of Radiation Oncology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 4921 Parkview Place, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. ' Department of Radiation Oncology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 4921 Parkview Place, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. ' Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, University of Missouri, E3437 Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Abstract: The understanding and visualisation of healthcare processes from a systems perspective are key components of healthcare delivery improvement. As interest in systematic approaches to improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare operations grows, so does the need for process mapping tools and languages suitable for this application. The healthcare industry is a demanding environment for such tools due to the complexity of operations, the fact that most healthcare professionals are unfamiliar with systems approaches to process management, and the well-known time constraints confronting the industry. For a tool to be broadly accepted in the healthcare industry it must be easy to learn, logical in its formulation, and supported by readily-available commercial computer programs. This work demonstrates that IDEF0 meets these requirements and that the language can be used by healthcare professionals to model their clinical operations. As an example, several functional areas of a teaching radiation oncology department are modelled.

Keywords: IDEF0; integrated definition; function modelling; radiation therapy; process mapping; oncology; workflows; quality improvements; safety; efficiency; system mapping; radiotherapy; systematic approaches; clinical operations; healthcare professionals; doctors; surgeons; physicians; process management; time constraints; logical formulation; ease of learning; computer programmes; commercial software; readily-available programmes; teaching hospitals; modelling languages; USA; United States; collaborative enterprises; collaboration; healthcare systems; systems engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCENT.2010.038356

International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, 2010 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.316 - 331

Published online: 01 Feb 2011 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article