University of Applied Sciences shares its Signavio project experience

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By Anne-Teresa Patt

The HTW (The University of Applied Sciences in Berlin) is known for its practical approach. The themes of Business Process Management and Business Decision Management have long been integral parts of research and teaching there and are also a reason for their strong relationship with Signavio.

How Business Decision Management optimizes patient care

The Signavio Decision Manager has been used for the realization of DMN projects as part of the program, “Modeling for Application Systems,” within the Business Information Technology course taught by Prof. Dr. Margret Stanierowski since the Winter Semester of 2015/16.
The mutual exchange of ideas has been of great benefit to both sides:

Students and teachers use the Signavio software solution for seminar activities. In turn, Signavio profits from the supervision and guidance of Bachelor and Master Theses plus well-educated graduates.

Steering operational decisions correctly within processes

A fascinating question for Signavio and for the HTW is how we might steer operational decisions within business processes in a profitable way. The benefits integrating a decision management tool with a process management platform are shown clearly in the healthcare project of student Philip Raubart,a student of Business Information Technology at HTW Berlin. Optimized decisions affect the wellbeing of patients, and this is what it’s all about in healthcare. In practice, this is anything but easy. Rising cost pressures as well as high expectations for the profitability of a practice are just a few of the factors that influence the everyday life of doctors and care staff. How can efficient treatments for every individual be developed despite these difficult conditions? This is also the question, Philip Raubart asked himself. He developed a clearly defined treatment process. His results enthused not only his supervisors, André Lücke and Prof. Dr. Margret Stanierowski from the Business Information Technology field, but also those responsible within Signavio.

Business Decision Management in Psychotherapy

The process, a real scenario from a psychotherapy practice in Osthessen, Germany, described the therapy received by a patient who had already been receiving treatment for quite some time at the facility. The decision on whether or not to change the medication or to keep it as it is derives from various sub-decisions. This is connected to the level of depression which is also tested through a question form. How can the point value from the questionnaire be determined correctly? How can this point value be correctly compared with the values already available from the patient’s records? How can one determine the level of depression?

When these decisions, and all the information that influences them, are documented directly in a process diagram, comprehensible structures are not easily found. By exporting the decision to the Signavio Decision Manager, Philip Raubert ensured a transparent overview of the its logic. However, the relationship to the process remained intact, as the task ‘evaluate questionnaire’ was marked as a rule-task.

Safe and consistent decisions for patient wellbeing

For therapists, the Signavio Decision Manager can be used as an interactive decision aid. The decision support function in the Collaboration Portal shows the questions that are relevant for each patient and which are required for a decision. It can then give a recommendation related to medication and follow-up actions within the treatment process. Thus, the DMN model becomes a system for daily treatment without the need for programing knowledge.

‘It was really interesting to see BDM implemented in certain projects,’ explains Prof. Dr. Margret Stanierowski. ‘Initially, I wasn’t sure if we would reach our goal, but the example of psychotherapy nicely demonstrated how complex processes and decisions can be combined together and documented transparently.’

Dr. Gero Decker, CEO at Signavio was also impressed by the project. ‘It’s great to see a project that can produce visible value for patients with the aid of the Signavio Decision Manager. This is a nice confirmation that our collaborative software has fulfilled its purpose in practice.’

The HTW and Signavio will continue to work together in future and are looking forward to more great projects. For graduates, Signavio offers a wonderful opportunity to enter at the level of a trainer, customer service employee or software developer, and to thus put the knowledge gained in at university into practice in the workplace.