Thursday, July 19, 2007

Project Definition and Demonstration of CDAL

As discussed in my previous post, I will give a more detailed summary of the meeting and site visit.

Meeting on 18/07/2007

The objective of the meeting was to meet with 2 other students (David Ding, Victor Chan and Peter Budd) who will be working on extending and developing the Clinical Data Analytical Language (CDAL), discuss how the projects were to be monitored and managed, and increase the understanding of the scope of how all different aspects of the project fit in as a whole.

Administration and Management of projects
In conjunction to this blog, Trac (a project management software) is to be used to record my progress, documentation, code and subversion tool. There may be some redundancies between the blog and information contained in Trac but I do not anticipate that this will poise a significant problem.

Overall Project Picture

The figure above shows the overall picture of how a generalised clinical management information system can be used to develop department specific IS, yet still retain its interoperability across systems.

CDAL is essentially a restricted natural language allowing analytical procedures to be expressed as a query such
that it can be computationally executed. It is similar to SQL except it is less restricted and more closely resembles human language. In the above figure, it can be seen how Victor and David's work on CDAL will fit into the IS. An initial prototype of this (developed by YuZhong) was demonstrated at the RPA site visit.


Following the meeting and site visit, our initial tasks has become a lot clearer. These include:
  1. System Analysis of ICU - A comprehensive system analysis of ICU is to be undertaken in order to gain an understanding of what an ICU IS should be fundamentally be achieving, data capture requirements (design of forms) and overall functional and non functional requirements. Incorporated in this system analysis is a SRS for an ideal ICU IS (SUICUIS). ICU work flow analysis. If possible, system analysis would be conducted at the RPA ICU and two other hospital departments to gain a greater understanding of how hospital information systems differ from department to department.
  2. Extending previous thesis work on G.H.I.M.S (now referred to as G.C.I.M.S) - particularly on the generation of forms and form version control.
  3. Develop a functional ICU IS - using methodology in G.C.I.M.S and incorporating the use of medical terminology server to deliver (in this case) SNOMED-CT terms to instantiate and record data.
While we are undertaking these tasks, we will likely be using all open source software if possible.

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