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Artif Intell Med. 2013 Jun;58(2):81-9. doi: 10.1016/j.artmed.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Creating personalised clinical pathways by semantic interoperability with electronic health records.

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Healthcare Informatics Engineering Research Centre, Zhejiang University, No. 38 Zheda Road, Hangzhou 310027, China.



There is a growing realisation that clinical pathways (CPs) are vital for improving the treatment quality of healthcare organisations. However, treatment personalisation is one of the main challenges when implementing CPs, and the inadequate dynamic adaptability restricts the practicality of CPs. The purpose of this study is to improve the practicality of CPs using semantic interoperability between knowledge-based CPs and semantic electronic health records (EHRs).


Simple protocol and resource description framework query language is used to gather patient information from semantic EHRs. The gathered patient information is entered into the CP ontology represented by web ontology language. Then, after reasoning over rules described by semantic web rule language in the Jena semantic framework, we adjust the standardised CPs to meet different patients' practical needs.


A CP for acute appendicitis is used as an example to illustrate how to achieve CP customisation based on the semantic interoperability between knowledge-based CPs and semantic EHRs. A personalised care plan is generated by comprehensively analysing the patient's personal allergy history and past medical history, which are stored in semantic EHRs. Additionally, by monitoring the patient's clinical information, an exception is recorded and handled during CP execution. According to execution results of the actual example, the solutions we present are shown to be technically feasible.


This study contributes towards improving the clinical personalised practicality of standardised CPs. In addition, this study establishes the foundation for future work on the research and development of an independent CP system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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