Document Type

Research Paper


Clinical guidelines contain recommendations on the appropriate management of patients with specific clinical conditions. A prerequisite for using clinical guidelines in information systems is to encode them in a Computer-Interpretable Guideline (CIG) language. However, this is a difficult and demanding task, usually done by IT staff. The goal of the paper is to facilitate the encoding of clinical guidelines in CIG languages, while increasing the involvement of clinicians. To achieve this, it is proposed to support the refinement of guideline processes from a preliminary specification in a business process language to a detailed implementation in one of the available CIG languages. The approach relies on the use of the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) for the specification level, a CIG language for the implementation level, and on algorithms to semi-automatically transform guideline models in BPMN into the CIG language of choice. As a first step towards the implementation of the approach, in this work algorithms are implemented to transform a BPMN specification of clinical processes into the PROforma CIG language, and are successfully applied to several clinical guidelines.