Application of Unified Modelling Language (UML) to the Modelling of Health Care Systems: An Introduction and Literature Survey

Application of Unified Modelling Language (UML) to the Modelling of Health Care Systems: An Introduction and Literature Survey

Christos Vasilakis (University College London, UK), Dorota Lecnzarowicz (University of Westminster, UK) and Chooi Lee (Kingston Hospital, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/jhisi.2008100103
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Abstract

The unified modelling language (UML) comprises a set of tools for documenting the analysis of a system. Although UML is generally used to describe and evaluate the functioning of complex systems, the extent of its application to the health care domain is unknown. The purpose of this article is to survey the literature on the application of UML tools to the analysis and modelling of health care systems. We first introduce four of the most common UML diagrammatic tools, namely use case, activity, state, and class diagrams. We use a simplified surgical care service as an example to illustrate the concepts and notation of each diagrammatic tool. We then present the results of the literature survey on the application of UML tools in health care. The survey revealed that although UML tools have been employed in modelling different aspects of health care systems, there is little systematic evidence of the benefits.

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