John McGrory, Frank Clarke, Jane Grimson, Peter Gaffney, Software Agents Representing Medical Guidelines., HEALTHINF, 1, 2008, 142-147
Guidelines are self-contained documents which healthcare professionals reference to obtain specific disease
or medical condition knowledge for a particular population cohort. They view these documents and apply
known facts about their patients to access useful supportive information to aid in developing a diagnosis or
manage a condition. Traditional CIG models decompose these guidelines into workflow plans, which are
then called using certain motivational trigger conditions controlled by a centralised management engine.
Therefore, CIG guidelines are not self-contained documents, which specialise in a particular condition or
disease, but are effectively a list of workflow plans, which are called and used when the patient information
is available. The software BDI agent offers an alternative approach which more closely matches the modus
operandi of narrative based medical guidelines. An agent’s beliefs capture information attributes, plans
capture the deliberative and action attributes, and desire captures the motivational attributes of the guideline
in a self-contained autonomous software module. This synergy between the narrative guideline and the BDI
agent offers an improved solution for computerising medical guidelines when compared to the CIG
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