Retrieve Process for Execution

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Retrieve Process for Execution (RPE) enables a healthcare provider to access a process definition, such as a research protocol, and to execute automated activities, without leaving an EHR session.


RPE is one of a set of profiles that create interoperability between EHRs and specialized research systems, resulting in EHR-enabled research. RPE sets up the actors and transactions that allow for automated collaborative workflow across healthcare and research systems.


RPE provides the framework for automating workflow across EHRs and research execution systems. The execution of a research study at a healthcare site involves the access of relevant data, the province of RFD, CRD, and DSC. But research study execution also involves process steps that go beyond data acquisition. Tasks such as patient enrollment, visit scheduling, and ordering tests require that certain instructions of the protocol be executed by the EHR.

Current practice requires the study coordinator to manually reference the protocol to set up the study in the EHR. RPE and its content profiles allow this set up to be automated, thus saving time in the execution of studies.


The RPE profile sets up actors which hold sections of the research protocol as executable instruction sets. The Process Definition Manager holds the master copy of protocol. The Process State Manager hands off the executable instructions to the Process Activity Executor, which abides in the EHR.

RPE defines transactions that allow these actors to do useful work together. These transactions can then be extended and specialized by content profiles such as CRPC and Research Matching. RPE transactions are:

  • Retrieve process definitions
  • Initiate process
  • Retrieve activities
  • Update activities

Systems Affected

  • Electronic Health Record
  • Research Protocol System


Profile Status: Trial Implementation


Supporting Standards:

  • BPMN 2.0