Context-based task ontologies for clinical guidelines

In Pisanelli D. (ed.), Ontologies in Medicine: Proceedings of the Workshop on Medical Ontologies, Rome October 2003 (Studies in Health and Technology Informatics, 102). IOS Press. pp. 81-94 (2004)
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Evidence-based medicine relies on the execution of clinical practice guidelines and protocols. A great deal of of effort has been invested in the development of various tools which automate the representation and execution of the recommendations contained within such guidelines and protocols by creating Computer Interpretable Guideline Models (CIGMs). Context-based task ontologies (CTOs), based on standard terminology systems like UMLS, form one of the core components of such a model. We have created DAML+OIL-based CTOs for the tasks mentioned in the WHO guideline for hypertension management, drawing comparisons also with other related guidelines. The advantages of CTOs include: contextualization of ontologies, providing ontologies tailored to specific aspects of the phenomena of interest, dividing the complexity involved in creating ontologies into different levels, providing a methodology by means of which the task recommendations contained within guidelines can be integrated into the clinical practices of a health care set-up.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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