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Integrating Formal Methods in the Development Process of Medical Guidelines and Protocols

Objective

Medical guidelines and protocols describe the optimal care for a specific group of patients and therefore, when properly applied, improve the quality of patient care. It has been proved that adherence to guidelines and protocols may reduce health-care costs up to a 25%. During the last decade, a high number of medical guidelines and protocols have been published in the literature and Internet. However, the work done on developing and disseminating them far outweighs the efforts on guaranteeing their quality. Indeed, anomalies like ambiguity and incompleteness are frequent in medical guidelines and protocols. Recent efforts have tried to address the problem of quality improvement. These approaches are not sufficient since they rely on informal processes and notations. As a result, many guidelines and protocols in practical use are still ambiguous or incomplete. A different approach, grounded on a formal representation, can answer these needs, as we have demonstrated in the one-year assessment phase of Protocure project. The approach of Protocure can be summarised in the metaphor "protocol = program", in the sense that protocols are viewed as programs, and that formal methods are used to improve their quality. The Protocure II project will extend this metaphor to "guideline and protocol development = software engineering". Thus, Protocure II will aim at integrating formal methods in the life cycle of guidelines. Instead of aiming at developing methods to analyse existing guidelines and protocols, we will now concentrate on developing techniques and tools to support the whole guideline development process.

Funding Scheme

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT JAUME I DE CASTELLON
Address
Campus De Riu Sec
12071 Castellón
Spain

Participants (6)

BIBLIOTECA JOSEP LAPORTE. CENTRE DE DOCUMENTACIO EN CIENCIES DE LA SALUT I DE LA VIDA
Spain
STICHTING CENTRAAL BEGELEIDINGSORGAAN VOOR DE INTERCOLLEGIALE TOETSING
Netherlands
Address
Churchilllaan 11
3502 LB Utrecht
STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT
Netherlands
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN
Austria
Address
Favoritenstr. 9-11/188
A-1040 Vienna
UNIVERSITAET AUGSBURG
Germany
Address
Universitätsstraße 14
86135 Augsburg
VERENIGING VOOR CHRISTELIJK WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERWIJS
Netherlands