Flexibility and Security of Careflow Systems Modeled by Petri Nets

Flexibility and Security of Careflow Systems Modeled by Petri Nets

Boleslaw Mikolajczak (University of Massachusetts, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-895-7.ch005
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The purpose of this chapter is to present an interplay of two important structural and behavioral features of robust intelligence in careflow systems, called flexibility and multi-level security. The chapter deals with design and analysis of careflow systems, i.e. workflow systems with applications in broadly understood healthcare industry. The authors focus on providing a robust intelligence to such systems in a form of structural and behavioral flexibility. They analyze several forms of design and run-time flexibility. However, the authors focus on case handling systems, exception handling, and on careflow systems with sub-processes called worklets. They also present how to model multi-level security within careflow systems that already have desired forms of flexibility. This implies that flexibility and security are conceptually independent and can therefore be modeled with Petri nets separately and incrementally in sequential order, first flexibility and then security. The authors apply Petri nets and colored Petri nets as conceptual modeling tool. They use example of Cutaneous Melanoma (CM) to illustrate some of our considerations.
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Desired features of future HCI systems are: personalized health care, careflow processes that produce data and adopt themselves to changing realities, and participatory decision making, among others. These HCI requirements lead to expectation of change in careflow systems’ definition. Careflow processes that have desired change characteristics include: dynamic careflow processes, adaptive careflow processes, and, in general, flexible careflow processes.

Flexibility can be informally defined as an ability of the careflow process to execute on the basis of a loosely, or partially specified model, where the full specification of the model is made at run time, and may be unique to each instance of the careflow process. Modeling framework that offers true flexibility has to take into account factors, which influence the paths of unique instances together with the careflow process definition. We advocate an approach that aims at making the process of change as part of the careflow process itself. We use the notion of an open instance that consists of a core careflow process and several pockets of flexibility. We present a framework based on this notion – it makes use of special build activities that provide functionality to integrate the process of defining a change, into the open careflow instance. Adaptive careflows can be represented by Petri nets. In such case they are called Adaptive Careflow nets (Schonenberg et al., 2007). Desired features of Adaptive Careflow Nets include:

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