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The efficacy of using Object Oriented technologies to build collaborative applications in healthcare and medical information systems

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4 Author(s)
Dwivedi, A. ; Data & Knowledge Eng. Res. Group, Coventry Univ., UK ; Bali, R.K. ; James, A.E. ; Naguib, R.N.G.

Advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), together with the search for effective and efficient ways to deliver healthcare, have resulted in the emergence of new heath delivery systems such as Community Health Information Networks (CHIN) and Telemedicine applications. The technical infrastructure for this is often dependent upon connecting different types of computer networks, each running on different types of technologies so as to present to the user the image of a single virtual electronic health highway. It is generally agreed that current software development technology cannot deliver this due to limitations of restricted scalability, fragmented management, and inflexibility in providing business support. One of the potential solutions may be the use of Object Oriented (OO) technology. This paper explores the feasibility of combining OO technologies with healthcare-based workflow management systems (WFMS). We introduce the concept of workflow technologies and discuss the main advantages and limitations of WFMS. We detail the circumstances in which the use of WFMS could be considered and the technological factors necessary for its successful implementation. We also present an Object Management Group (OMG) model analysing it in the context of the support offered for WFMS. The main advantages and disadvantages of the model are discussed. A workflow managerrient coalition (WFMC) model is then contrasted with the OMG management model in order to identify the architectural differences between them. We focus on the relationship between workflow concepts and the position of the two reference models (WFMC and OMG) and on the use of UML in the design of information systems. We conclude by summarizing our findings on the extent to which OO technology can be used to build collaborative applications in healthcare and medical information systems.

Published in:

Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2002. IEEE CCECE 2002. Canadian Conference on  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

2002