The organization and processes of today's health and social care are becoming ever more complex as a consequence of societal trends, including an aging population and an increased reliance on care at home. One aspect of the increased complexity is that a single patient may receive care from several care providers, which easily results in situations with potentially incoherent, uncoordinated, and interfering care processes. In order to describe and analyze such situations, the article introduces the notion of a process conglomeration. This is defined as a set of patient-care processes that all concern the same patient, that are overlapping in time, and that all are sharing the overall goal of improving or maintaining the health and social well-being of the patient. Problems and challenges of process conglomerations are investigated using coordination theory and models for continuous process improvement. In order to address the challenges, a solution is proposed in the form of a Coordination Hub, being an integrated software service that offers a number of information services for coordinating the activities of the processes in a process conglomeration.
Keywords: Care processes; health care; home care; processes coordination; social care.
© The Author(s) 2014.