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The 3LGM2-Tool to Support Information Management in Health Care

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1 Author(s)
Alfred Winter ; Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics und Epidemiology, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany

In industrialized as well as in developing countries the driving force for healthcare has recently been the trend towards a better coordination of care. The focus has been changed from isolated procedures in a single healthcare institution (e.g. a hospital or a general practice) to the patient-oriented care process spreading over institutional boundaries. This should lead to a shift towards better integrated and shared care. Health care professionals in different departments of a hospital but moreover in a region - and in many cases even worldwide - have to cooperate in order to achieve health for the patient. [1] Cooperation needs an adequate system for communicating and processing of information, i.e., an information system, which is that socio-technical subsystem of a (S et of) health care institution(s), which presents information at the right time, in the right place to the right people [2, 3]. Hospital Information Systems (HIS) as well as regional Health Information Systems (rHIS) (consisting of different institutional information systems) are constructed like a (complex of) building(s) out of different and probably heterogeneous bricks and components. Thus cooperation depends especially on the availability of adequate communication links between the institutional information systems and their components. Besides technical problems of communication links there are a lot of complex problems of connecting heterogeneous software components of different vendors and with different database schemata to be solved. Especially the proper application of communication standards like HL7 and DICOM [4-6] needs proper planning and supervision as part of a systematic information management. Like an architect the information manager needs a blueprint or model for the information system's architecture respectively the enterprise architecture [7-9]. In [10] we proposed the 3LGM2 as a meta model for modeling Information Systems (IS). 3LGM2 has been designe- d to describe IS by concepts on three layers. The domain layer consists of enterprise functions and entity types, the logical tool layer focuses on application components and the physical tool layer describes physical data processing components. In contrast to other approaches a lot of inter-layer-relationships exist. 3LGM2 is defined using the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The meta model has been supplemented by the 3LGM2 tool [12]. Using 3LGM2 as the ontological basis this tool enables information managers to graphically design even complex IS. It assists information managers similarly to Computer Aided Design tools (CAD) supporting architects. The tool provides means for analyzing a HIS model and thus for assessing the HIS quality. The talk will focus on the 3LGM2 tool and its most important features. It will be shown, how a model can be created by graphical user interaction as well as by importing data from other sources. It will be illustrated how the tool's analyzing features support information managers doing their job. Examples will be taken from 3LGM2 models of the information system of the Leipzig University Hospital and the regional health information system of Saxony, a federal state of Germany.

Published in:

2006 ITI 4th International Conference on Information & Communications Technology

Date of Conference:

10-12 Dec. 2006