Computer-based Clinical Guidelines and Protocols
9-11th January, 2008
The aim of the workshop was to bring together researchers from
different branches of computer science (in particular AI), medical
informatics and medicine to examine cutting-edge approaches to
computer-based guideline modelling and development and work on
completing a book on computer-based guidelines and protocols (see
With the rise in the complexity and costs of healthcare, on the one
hand, and increased expectations from society what healthcare is able
to deliver, on the other hand, health-care professionals have
developed a, sometimes urgent, need for care-practice support.
Medical guidelines and protocols have become the main instruments for
disseminating best practices in healthcare. They promote safe
practices, reduce inter-clinician practice variations and support
decision-making in patient care while containing the costs of care.
In many cases, medical guidelines and protocols have been useful in
improving the quality and consistency of healthcare, by supporting
healthcare quality assessment and assurance, clinical decision making,
workflow and resource management. The benefits of having access to
medical guidelines and protocols are widely recognised, yet the
guideline development process is time- and resource-consuming, and the
size and complexity of guidelines remains a major hurdle for
effectively using them in clinical care.
Many researchers expect that the computer-based development, use and
dissemination of guidelines will have a positive effect on the time
required for the development of new guidelines and protocols, for the
revision of existing ones, for deployment in daily care and
dissemination. Guideline development institutes are increasing
exploiting computer-based techniques in the development process; at
the same time guidelines are made available through the world-wide-web.
Current guidelines are evidence based, i.e., based on carefully
weighed scientific evidence from literature. Computer-based methods
are indispensable for ensuring that guidelines are in agreement with
the latest requirement for guideline development.
Despite the guideline-related research spanning a large range of the
AI research community, as well as other research areas, a
comprehensive integration of the results of these communities is still
lacking. Through working in small groups on specific topics (see
below), and plenary feedback sessions, and some invited talks on
important issues in the area, the workshop worked toward a
comprehensive review of the area.
The outcome of the workshop was the publication of the book "A. ten
Teije, S. Miksch and P.J.F. Lucas (Eds.). Computer-based Clinical
Guidelines and Protocols: a Primer and Current Trends, IOS Press,
tutorial-style papers reviewing the state of the art.
- guideline development and deployment in medical practice
- guideline representation languages
- guideline modelling methods
- use of formal methods in guidelines
- temporal aspects of guidelines
- vocabularies, ontologies and terminologies
- guideline adaptation
- visualisation and guidelines
- guideline compliance
- research agenda for the coming years
There were 23 participants from many different countries. Most of the
participants were involved in writing the book on computer-based
guidelines and protocols. Some of the participants were PhD students
organisation of the workshop, and all participants were impressed by
the facilities offered, in particular by the availability of offices,
computers, printing facilities, meeting rooms, and the common
room. The pleasant working atmosphere at the centre had a very
positive effect on the outcome of the workshop.
Peter Lucas (Radboud University, Nijmegen)
Annette ten Teije (Free University Amsterdam)
Frank van Harmelen (Free University Amsterdam)