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Artif Intell Med. 2002 Mar;24(3):217-28.

Development and evaluation of VIE-PNN, a knowledge-based system for calculating the parenteral nutrition of newborn infants.

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  • 1Department of Medical Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence, University of Vienna, Freyung 6, A-1010 Vienna, Austria.


Calculating the daily changing composition of parenteral nutrition for small newborn infants is troublesome and time consuming routine work in neonatal intensive care. The task needs expertise and experience and is prone to inherent calculation errors. We designed VIE-PNN (Vienna Expert System for Parenteral Nutrition of Neonates), a knowledge-based system (KBS) in order to reduce daily routine work and calculation errors. VIE-PNN was redesigned several times because the clinicians accepted the system only when it saved time. The most recent version of VIE-PNN uses an Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)-based client-server architecture and is integrated into the intranet of the local patient data management system. Since more than 3 years all parenteral nutrition plans are calculated using VIE-PNN. Evaluating the system's performance and the users contentedness, we compared 50 nutrition plans calculated in parallel using VIE-PNN or a hand-held calculator, retrospectively analyzed more than 5000 nutrition plans stored in VIE-PNNs database and evaluated a user questionnaire. Nutrition plans were calculated in a mean time of 2.4 versus 7.1min using VIE-PNN or the hand-held calculator. Errors and omissions in the nutrition plans were detected in 22% versus 56% and errors in the VIE-PNN's plans occurring only with interactively changed values. Reviews of stored plans show that a mean of 4 out of 16 parameters were interactively changed. VIE-PNN was well accepted. Most important reasons for the successful operation of VIE-PNN in the daily routine work were time savings and robustness of the system.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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