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Representation of clinical practice guidelines through an interactive World-Wide-Web interface.

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Decision Systems Group, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The widespread utility of clinical practice guidelines is greatly dependent on the ease with which they can be accessed, used, and applied. Because it supports hyperlinking and is widely accessible, the World-Wide Web is a medium that is well suited for browsing through guidelines. We have developed a process for implementing algorithmic guidelines into a graphical format that allows the user to browse these guidelines in an interactive fashion. The guidelines we used were already in or could be transformed to an algorithmic format that lends itself well to analysis with decision table techniques, which in turn permits a fairly straightforward conversion into a graphical representation. The results of this process allow a user to browse a particular guideline algorithm and to visualize the traversed parts of the algorithm by flowcharts. Our first experiences with this method of representing a few sample clinical practice guidelines have been encouraging, and we hope to extend this method to other guidelines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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