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Process Makes Perfect

Tom Allanson

HRPM - Human Rights Process Management

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With the healthcare reform debate in full swing and everyone adamantly on one spectrum of opinion it's hard not to think of the entire industry as overwhelmingly complicated. And while complication runs rampant, I find it important to counterbalance this feeling with recognition of how healthcare has actually been simplified in the past few years, lest we worry about paying more money for our health needs. Keeping an open mind to all sides of an argument doesn't just help you approach things more rationally, but it links our common desires for pursuing the path of greatest value.

I know most people would be hard-pressed to argue that technology hasn't improved the quality of healthcare, but what we tend to forget is that technology also made patient care simpler in many ways. For instance, one of my customers is a U.S. state agency in charge of reporting abuses against the elderly in long-term care facilities. The people who report such abuses are mostly volunteers. They perform a vital service - who could rest easy thinking their parents or grandparents might be mistreated in their twilight years? But the agency has a very limited budget. Thanks to the technological advances in healthcare, more and more senior citizens are living to see 90. With Baby Boomers retiring in droves, how can long-term care advocates keep up the quality of their service with their stagnant budgets?

That's where BPM providers come in. Now, I respect the importance of BPM in the enterprise and its role in increasing productivity, but one size really doesn't fit all. Our agency customer might technically be a business, but they're not dealing with normal data - they're dealing with human rights. When a paper form used in reporting abuse cases has errors or is misclassified, that's someone's quality of life deteriorating every day until their situation is changed for the better. Automating the complaint reporting and case management processes - which is what they used PerfectForms to do - allows this group to take on dramatically more volunteers and increase their collective workload with the limited resources they have. It may not fit the mold of traditional BPM but it's extremely important.

We box ourselves into a corner when we adhere too strongly to extreme opinions. Evaluating what you do and what your business does is critical to maintaining a healthy perspective and providing the best solution for your customers' needs. BPM should not be about serving a subset of only large enterprises; it doesn't have to confine itself to such strict use. Technology is about improving a group of people's lives, one way or another. When we have the chance to see our solutions embraced by those who are directly affecting our community and our loved ones, things really do feel quite pure, and quite simple.

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Tom Allanson of PerfectForms shares his ideas on managing business processes, automating workflows and designing for business users - both in the cloud and on the ground.

Tom Allanson

Tom Allanson, CEO of Perfect Forms, Inc., has over 19 years of experience leading teams and growing businesses and has held key executive roles at Intuit, General Electric, and H&R Block. Most recently the President of H&R Block Digital Tax Division, he had previously been Senior Vice President at Intuit in charge of the Tax Division, including TurboTax. He started his career as a design engineer.

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