About this Project
Clinical guidelines and protocols (CGPs) are promising means to improve the quality of health care. Supporting their application by computer systems in connection with electronic patient records increases conformance and reduces workload. To achieve this, CGPs must be translated to a computer readable form. The considerable effort to do so can be reduced by means of Information Extraction. Efficiently performing this task is still an open research frontier. At the same time, there is already valuable experience from previous efforts in the field, which is currently not taken to the field of creating CGPs in their original form (free text and diagrams, in natural language). In previous projects, we developed expertise in the fields of guideline modelling, with and without the use of Information Extraction, and in guideline validation, verification, and execution. Combining it with available open-source software, we intend to develop a comprehensive solution for authoring CGPs in formal and informal (freetext) form by a distributed team of experts with complementary expertise. To arrive at this, we will take the following actions. - Evaluation of existing partial solutions for the task of authoring highly structured, large documents in a distributed environment by contributors with heterogeneous background. - Integration of a suitable selection of open-source solutions, complementing them with custom-made middleware where required by the particular needs of the intended field of application. - Further development of Information Extraction methods to support the transformation of CGPs to formal models. - Creation of demonstration use-cases and evaluation of the prototype with domain experts. - Creation of educational material and organisation of a workshop and individual meetings with interested experts to raise the awareness in the community for the then available solutions. The result of this research will be models and methods that can take the state of art in the important field of authoring formal and informal CGPs a significant step towards practical application. By applying these models and methods not only the transformation into computer-interpretable guideline formats will be facilitated, but also creators of new freetext CGPs will benefit from an environment that assists collaborative aspects and distributed work.