Mind the Gap: Why Agility is the Key to Optimizing Legacy Systems

SolutionIn this blog blog, I will argue why agile BPM is the smart option when it comes to breathing new life into existing applications.

According to Gartner, it is estimated that 70% of corporate data still exists in legacy systems. This was the case for our client, Prince Sultan Military Medical City (PSMMC). One of the most advanced medical centers in the Middle East, this 1,400+ bed capacity hospital relied on the decades-old Health Information System (HIS) to manage its patient care processes.

Key challenges experienced as a result were:

  • A costly and sluggish Patient Administration process
  • Identity theft – due to difficulty identifying Saudi patients ‘beneath the veil’ allowing patients to swap ID cards without detection
  • Complex patient validation routines making it difficult to meet auditory policies
  • Ineffective use of human resource


BPMS – the solution

Since choosing BPMS, PSMMC have overcome every single one of these challenges. As I look back at the project, here are my top takeaways from their success:

1. Think repurpose – not replacement

The legacy system was weak on process and data consistency – but that was no reason to throw it out. Like many hospitals around the world, PSMMC’s HIS was a goldmine of hospital data that provided the groundwork for better care.

The BPMS built the bridge between the old world and the new. Powerful integration and web services together provide a wraparound layer which cleanses and validates the patient data fetched from the legacy system. Through intuitive workflow modeling, BPMS accelerates data quality and compliance, be it for new patient on-boarding, biometric ID and reporting.

The result: the right treatment allocated to the right patient, increased compliance with healthcare auditory policies

2. Get strong management sponsorship

Not having your top people on board poses one of the largest threats to the success of a BPM project. Careful creation of a forward-thinking management team, one that truly understand the benefits of BPM, makes the design and implementation much easier.

The result: a long-term solution with top-level buy-in, not a flash in the pan

3. Have a structured knowledge transfer

It sounds obvious, but taking time to fully immerse the organization into the transition from its legacy system to BPM was essential to success. At PSMMC this was achieved thorough training, workshops and informal meetings.

The result: a united, inspired and process-driven culture

4. Give everyone clear roles

Migrating from legacy to process was a huge leap for PSMMC. By clearly defining roles and responsibilities to every clerk and manager, it was possible for management to audit the activities performed by clerks, analyze trends and forecast requirements in ways never done before. By the same token, these clear roles enabled simple resource optimization and reallocation of activities and people, boosting morale and engagement with the BPM project.

The result: staff productivity increased by 60% in just two months after go-live.

5. Coordinate your party efforts

Prior to BPM, every change had to be validated against a printout, a huge waste of time and paper. By introducing document scanning & processing, the need to perform manual verifications was eliminated. Coordinating the work between different areas – registration, finance and so on – as well as between healthcare providers – has revolutionized this process, lowering costs from the reduction of manual activities and paperwork.

The result: human error down by 80%, improved customer service & patient care

6. Don’t reinvent the wheel

Once the process oriented work culture was introduced, continuous improvement and optimization became possible. The BPMS’s flexibility allows workflows to be tried, tested and reused for the good of the whole organization, even when borne out of another business challenge.

The result: a fast, agile and cost-effective solution

Do you have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.


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By Jolanta Pilecka @ Bizagi | December 12, 2013

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