Supporting an Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team with a Multi-Agent System

Supporting an Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team with a Multi-Agent System

Davood Astaraky (University of Ottawa, Canada), Szymon Wilk (Poznan University of Technology, Poland), Wojtek Michalowski (University of Ottawa, Canada), Pavel Andreev (University of Ottawa, Canada), Craig E. Kuziemsky (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Stasia Hadjiyannakis (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch030

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The issue of collaboration among multiple decision-makers has been the subject of research in fields such as computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) (Weerakkody & Ray, 2003), where it has produced a blueprint for designing collaborative systems for improving team performance (Fitzpatrick & Ellingsen, 2012). Considering that patient management processes are complex, this blueprint has also been applied in healthcare (Fitzpatrick & Ellingsen, 2012). However, most of the healthcare workflow management systems have primarily been concerned with representing workflows or with scheduling activities from a workflow, with less emphasis on coordinated care delivery by an IHT. This is well illustrated with the HealthFlow system (Huser, Rasmussen, Oberg, & Starren, 2011) that offers a set of user-friendly tools for creating and maintaining workflows while providing no direct support for IHT collaboration and coordination. Another example is the HeCaSe2 system (Isern & Moreno, 2010) that was designed to align activities and services across a number of healthcare organizations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Capability: An ability to perform a certain task from a clinical management workflow.

Coordination: Act of managing interdependencies between tasks performed to achieve a goal.

Multi-Agent System (MAS): A computer system composed of multiple entities (agents) that communicate and work together in order to achieve a common goal.

Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team (IHT): A team involving healthcare practitioners from different fields and specialties (e.g., nurses, physicians, dietitians, therapists).

Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS): Any computer system that helps healthcare practitioners make clinical decisions.

Clinical Management Workflow: A sequence of steps corresponding to clinical tasks and decisions that are aimed at managing a patient with a specific presentation (disease).

Cooperation: Act of working together to achieve a common goal.

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