Journal of medical Internet research 2018 04 1020(4) e127 doi 10.2196/jmir.8884
Public health in several countries is characterized by a shortage of professionals and a lack of economic resources. Monitoring and redesigning processes can foster the success of health care institutions, enabling them to provide a quality service while simultaneously reducing costs. Process mining, a discipline that extracts knowledge from information system data to analyze operational processes, affords an opportunity to understand health care processes.
Health care processes are highly flexible and multidisciplinary, and health care professionals are able to coordinate in a variety of different ways to treat a diagnosis. The aim of this work was to understand whether the ways in which professionals coordinate their work affect the clinical outcome of patients.
This paper proposes a method based on the use of process mining to identify patterns of collaboration between physician, nurse, and dietitian in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and to compare these patterns with the clinical evolution of the patients within the context of primary care. Clustering is used as part of the preprocessing of data to manage the variability, and then process mining is used to identify patterns that may arise.
The method is applied in three primary health care centers in Santiago, Chile. A total of seven collaboration patterns were identified, which differed primarily in terms of the number of disciplines present, the participation intensity of each discipline, and the referrals between disciplines. The pattern in which the three disciplines participated in the most equitable and comprehensive manner had a lower proportion of highly decompensated patients compared with those patterns in which the three disciplines participated in an unbalanced manner.
By discovering which collaboration patterns lead to improved outcomes, health care centers can promote the most successful patterns among their professionals so as to improve the treatment of patients. Process mining techniques are useful for discovering those collaborations patterns in flexible and unstructured health care processes.