Design of a generic information system and its application to Primary Care
There is a growing need for sophisticated information systems in primary care. Achieving a comprehensive information service for primary care is a challenge because of the range of medicine it must cover and the variety of patient management decisions to be faced. A framework has been developed with the versatility required to support information retrieval, data management and decision support facilities for medical practitioners. The design abstracts specific medical facts from the methods that use them, and decision procedures are represented as a set of meta theories. This abstraction permits the use of medical knowledge in a variety of ways. The approach simplifies the task of constructing and maintaining a very large medical knowledge base and provides an opportunity to meet the difficult user interface requirements of general practice. The framework has been incorporated in a prototype implementation, the Oxford System of Medicine.
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