Project: Modelling and evaluation of socio-technical business processes in health care – A tool-based modelling method with integrated ratio system
Project team: Elske Ammenwerth, Samrend Saboor, Ruth Breu, Bernhard Hirsch, Heiko Schuldt, Manfred Wurz
Time span: 2004 - 2006
Cooperation partner: Institute of Computer Science - University of Innsbruck (Uibk)
Research Group Information & Software Engineering – UMIT (ISE)
Information Technologies for Healthcare (ITH)

Currently hospitals are characterised by complex and cooperative structures represented by highly specialized departments - each with its own workflow, role definition and objectives. All involved departments have to communicate properly with each other to guarantee the right patient treatment and finally his/her successful convalescence. This leads to a highly dynamic task management. This way of handling tasks is one reason why business process in health care often show weaknesses.


Quality indicators are needed to evaluate the quality of a whole treatment process as well as every single activity, taking also into account different alternatives of the same process. To supoprt this, an appropriate way of modelling health care processes is needed. Here, existing modelling methods e.g. of the information sciences will be examined and expanded. Results are going to be evaluated in several case studies.


Modelling socio-technical processes, transactions as well as role and authorization allocations; development and appliance of quality indicators; software development (plug-ins); analysing weaknesses, strengths and alternatives


Based on UML 2.0, a notation to describe socio-technical processes has been developed and tested in the field of radiology. Quality checks were developed to detect typical quality problems within healthcare processes such as media cracks and data redundancy. Finally, a computer-based tool to support modeling as well as assessment of the processes was developed.

Selected publications:

Saboor S, Ammenwerth E, Wurz M, Chimiak-Opoka J. MedFlow - improving modelling and assessment of clinical processes. In: Engelbrecht R, Geissbuhler A, Lovis C, Mihalas G (Hrsg.): Connecting Medical Informatics and Bio-Informatics. Proceedings of Medical Informatics Europe (MIE 2005), Geneva, Aug 08 - Sep 01 2005. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Volume 116. Amsterdam: IOS Press. 521-526.

Ehlers F, Ammenwerth E, Das Prozess-Potential-Screening: Ein Verfahren zur Identifikation von Verbesserungspotentialen in Krankenhausprozessen. In: Ammenwerth E, Gaus W, Haux R et al (Hrsg). Tagungsband der GMDS 2004, 26. - 30.9.2004, Innsbruck. 155-157.

(A complete list of all publications can be found on our publications page.)