Workflow computing. Improving management and efficiency of pathology diagnostic services

Am J Clin Pathol. 1996 Apr;105(4 Suppl 1):S17-24.


Traditionally, information technology in health care has helped practitioners to collect, store, and present information and also to add a degree of automation to simple tasks (instrument interfaces supporting result entry, for example). Thus commercially available information systems do little to support the need to model, execute, monitor, coordinate, and revise the various complex clinical processes required to support health-care delivery. Workflow computing, which is already implemented and improving the efficiency of operations in several nonmedical industries, can address the need to manage complex clinical processes. Workflow computing not only provides a means to define and manage the events, roles, and information integral to health-care delivery but also supports the explicit implementation of policy or rules appropriate to the process. This article explains how workflow computing may be applied to health-care and the inherent advantages of the technology, and it defines workflow system requirements for use in health-care delivery with special reference to diagnostic pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care / trends
  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems / economics
  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems / organization & administration
  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems / trends
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diagnostic Services / organization & administration*
  • Diagnostic Services / standards
  • Diagnostic Services / trends
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Pathology, Clinical / economics
  • Pathology, Clinical / organization & administration*
  • Pathology, Clinical / trends
  • Pathology, Surgical / economics
  • Pathology, Surgical / organization & administration*
  • Pathology, Surgical / trends