Goal-Focused Self-Modifying Workflow in the Healthcare Domain

E. D. Browne, M. Schrefl, J. R. Warren
Schr04d (2004)
Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-37 2004) - Track 6, January 5-8, 2004, Big Island, Hawaii, U.S.A., ISBN 0-7695-2056-1, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2004.
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This paper introduces the concept of self-modifying workflow in the context of health care planning. Certain tasks in the workflow schema are devoted to modifying the downstream workflow on an instance by instance basis. Such self-modifying schemas provide the necessary flexibility to suit the evolving diagnostic and therapeutic processes encountered in Chronic Disease Management (CDM),particu larly in complex areas requiring significant individualisation. The management of Diabetes Mellitus in a community care setting provides an example to illustrate this complexity. Over the past few years,object-oriented modelling tools of inheritance and specialisation have been applied to workflow modelling to assist in schema evolution and workflow mi gration,thereby potentially empowering new Workflow Man agement Systems (WfMSs)with the functionality to allow the tailoring of Guideline-based Care Plans to individual patient requirements.However,schema evolution is a necessary but
insufficient requirement for such tailoring.Healthcare WfMSs need to support a paradigm whereby schema evolution becomes a de facto operation for each workflow instance (i.e. patient episode of care).Self-modifying workflows provide this paradigm.In order to facilitate self-modification of workflow schemas,we annunciate a set of valid operations that can be applied to downstream components of a workflow schema.
These operations are primarily concerned with turning ab stract subworkflows into concrete ones through completion and alteration of template primitives.