Friday, August 31, 2007

Meeting with Jon Patrick & Alan Fekete and Project Scope

Hendy and I had a comprehensive meeting today with our supervisors Jon Patrick, Alan Fekete and Peter Budd (a PhD student who developed G.H.I.M.S and Terminology Server).


Over the next 6 weeks, Jon Patrick will be away. Temporarily taking his place as thesis supervisor will be Alan Fekete (refer to previous posts). We plan to keep in touch with Jon through regular email and progress updates on the TRAC website. We have also set up weekly meetings with Alan Fekete every Thursday at 12 mid day.

Project as of today

So far, the system analysis phase of the project has been finalised. Only minor changes need to be made which will take no longer than a couple of days. However, we are still perfoming some validation and feedback tests with Angela at the RPA (she has been unavailable this week). With the first half of the project complete, Hendy and I will diverge in our investigations in the remainder of the second phase of the project.

Project Goals for the remainder of the thesis (Project Scope)

Generally, the aim of the project is to develop a working prototype that demonstrates (a proof of concept) a document centric workflow management systems in an ICU environment.

The diagram above depicts the current state of the technology. Essentially, there are two versions of G.H.I.M.S that need to be consolidated. The version of G.H.I.M.S that was developed by Peter Budd contains a form designer with version control using a MySQL database. The second version of G.H.I.M.S, developed by William Chau, contains a workflow management systems (WfMS), written in C#, but does not contain a versioned form designer. The backend operates on an Oracle database.

In order for the system to function, investigation needs to be done to port the WfMS into Perl for it to be compatable with G.H.I.M.S developed by Peter. Open source backend, such as MySQL will also need to be implemented. Using the system and workflow analysis completed in the first half of the thesis, we have to demonstrate the generic generation of an ICU information system. In order to reduce scope, this ICU system will be a component of the ideal system that is complex enough to demonstrate a proof of concept. It is essential that several principals, on which G.H.I.M.S is based upon, are demonstrated. These are (on the top of my head):

  • Support for user workflow - adaptive workflow for the main users of an ICU information system; i.e., clinicians, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, administrators, researchers

  • Use of terminology (SNOMED-CT)

  • Customisation and Interoperability - data transfer between the ICU G.H.I.M.S and a mini (basic) G.H.I.M.S for allied healthcare professionals.

  • Extendability - ability for users to effectively define their own systems (and workflow) with the use of the form designer.

  • Medical Record storage and retreival.

My Tasks for the next week

For the following week, I plan set up the development environment on my laptop, install Peter's code and experiment with G.H.I.M.S. (I have scheduled a meeting with Peter Budd on Friday). My specific aims is to see what is required in order to make the system (bar the WfMS) to work with CareVue or to be able to mimic CareVue. This requires investigating the paper and electronic document environment surrounding the ICU's workflow and their use with CareVue and possibly, how adaptive their workflow will need to be. I plan to post an entry on adaptive workflows soon as this area is especially useful in the ICU environment.

Draft Treatise Hand In

I have finalised the draft treatised and given a copy to Alan Fekete and Jon Patrick for initial feedback. Over the next two days, I plan to work on the draft treatise extending the system analysis and workflow analysis chapters. I also have to clean up the literature review and continue to add to the literature base as I continue researching.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Meeting with Alan Fekete 24/08/2007

With Jon Patrick being away for the week, Professor Alan Fekete took over as our thesis supervisor. Hendy and I had a meeting with him on Friday and the agenda for this week was to:
  • Update our progress with Alan Fekete.
  • Overall architecture of the proposed supervisor.
  • Requirements for literature review
  • Discuss the scope of the project

Outcomes of the meeting:

  • Need to determine the overarching architecture in which the prototype will be based on (for example, the number of servers and clients in which the system will run on). We will need to get in contact with the RPA for this information. Also, this type of informaiton will be ueful in updating the SRS for an ideal ICU system.
  • Regarding the literature review, the focus would be on:

. 1. workflow, workflow processing, workflow modelling

. 2. Management Information Systems (M.I.S)

. 3. Issues of current M.I.S

. 4. Intensive Care Information System

I plan to get an initial draft to both Alan Fekete and Jon Patrick by next Wednesday before official hand in on Friday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Workflow Update

The diagram below shows the final draft of the complete work flow of an ICU unit. These diagrams still require some feed back from ICU staff.

Given that my draft thesis is due on the 31st of August (approximately 1 1/2) weeks time, I will be spending majority of the time collating and writing up, at the very least, a outline of my thesis and an initial draft of my literature review. Given that the scope is forever changing, I envisage that the initial draft to be quiet different from the final product.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Weekly Update 06/08/07 - 17/08/07

Project Update:
It has just been two weeks since my last post. Over the past two weeks, I have been updating TRAC (a sub version repository and a wiki) about all the findings that we have gathered during our site visits at the RPA. From there, Hendy and I have been developing workflow diagrams (which seem to get ever more larger and more complex), data flow diagrams, updating an ICU SRS as well as having weekly meetings with my supervisor; Jon Patrick. Furthermore, we have also been returning to RPA to perform follow up meetings with Angela to review our work and confirm work flow diagrams. We have also begun viewing some source code with G.H.I.M.S, however, I have yet to fully look at or experiment with the code.

Project Time Management:
The system analysis phase of the project is taking longer than expected. This is mainly attributed to follow up meetings with Angela as well as the complexity of work flow diagrams (I will post an example later on) in trying to capture the varied and often chaotic work flow of an intensive care unit. Even simple processes such as discharge can be a hurdle due to the numerous legal requirements, reporting processes as well as actual management of the patient. For example work flow thus far (it is still a work in progress) is shown below:

Furthermore, the SRS for an ideal ICU will come from the interviews from RPA personnel as well as a system analysis of CareVue. As a result, we have completed a draft system review of CareVue and from there we are beginning to develop an SRS. We envisage the complete drafted SRS to be finalised by the end of this coming week.

Project Resource Management:
Over the last two weeks, I've had two meetings with Prof. Jon Patrick regarding thesis progress. The first meeting mainly consisted of providing feedback and direction relating to work flow diagrams as well as information in TRAC. The second meeting on 16/08/2007 was to discuss the progress of validating information in TRAC, re-scoping the project and Jon's availability next week. Jon is unavailable next week and will be away for several weeks from the start of September (although he will be able to be contacted via email). To take his place as IT supervisor next week and when Prof. Jon Patrick is away will be Dr Alan Fekete.

I will dedicate a separate post to the re-scoping of the project as it is a significant turning point in the thesis.

Furthermore, we have found out that Angela will be away and consequently unavailable for the next 2 weeks. While this will represents a significant strain in our resources, I see this as an opportunity to fully consolidate our findings before Angela returns. As a result, our contact within RPA for the next two weeks will be Dr. Herkes and Chris.

Task for the following week
Given the significant changes occuring, the tasks for the following week will be to:
  • Consolidate TRAC
  • Complete Work flow Diagram
  • Complete System Review/analysis of CareVue
  • Complete SRS
  • Complete DFDs
  • Review source code for G.H.I.M.S as try to get it working (while setting up develop environment on my home computer and uni computer).
  • Begin to modify G.H.I.M.S if possible.

Resource wise Hendy and I will have to:
  • Contact Dr. Alan Fekete
  • Contact Peter Budd regarding his code

Friday, August 3, 2007

Update: Week Ending 3rd August 2007

Summary of week ending 03/08/07
Hendy and I spent the majority of our time this week (Tuesday to Friday) at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. My main goals for the week were to:
  • Describe and document workflow of clinicians with an emphasis on their use of clinicial information systems including CareVue.
  • Map out workflow into simple diagrams.
  • System analysis of CareVue and its ability to satisfy its purpose.
  • Summaries and report any significant issues with current ICU information systems.
  • Elicit functional and non-functional requirements of an idealised ICU information system.
Week commencing 06/08/07
Hendy and I also had a detailed meeting with Jon Patrick to discuss progress and what to do next on Friday. Over the coming week, I hope to achieve the following:
  • Write up system analysis document (Draft) - contain SRS, full analysis of workflow, data flow, interview findings, etc
  • Follow up interviews/meetings with RPA to present and finalise findings.
  • Experiment with G.H.I.M.S (if time permits)
I will follow up these entries with a summary of findings over next few days.