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Authoring and verification of clinical guidelines: A model driven approach

Beatriz Perez, Ivan Porres, Authoring and verification of clinical guidelines: A model driven approach. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 43(4), 520–536, 2010.



The goal of this research is to provide a framework to enable authoring and verification of clinical guidelines. The framework is part of a larger research project aimed at improving the representation, quality and application of clinical guidelines in daily clinical practice.

The verification process of a guideline is based on (1) model checking techniques to verify guidelines against semantic errors and inconsistencies in their definition, (2) combined with Model Driven Development (MDD) techniques, which enable us to automatically process manually created guideline specifications and temporal-logic statements to be checked and verified regarding these specifications, making the verification process faster and cost-effective. Particularly, we use UML statecharts to represent the dynamics of guidelines and, based on this manually defined guideline specifications, we use a MDD-based tool chain to automatically process them to generate the input model of a model checker. The model checker takes the resulted model together with the specific guideline requirements, and verifies whether the guideline fulfils such properties.

The overall framework has been implemented as an Eclipse plug-in named GBDSSGenerator which, particularly, starting from the UML statechart representing a guideline, allows the verification of the guideline against specific requirements. Additionally, we have established a pattern-based approach for defining commonly occurring types of requirements in guidelines. We have successfully validated our overall approach by verifying properties in different clinical guidelines resulting in the detection of some inconsistencies in their definition.

The proposed framework allows (1) the authoring and (2) the verification of clinical guidelines against specific requirements defined based on a set of property specification patterns, enabling non-experts to easily write formal specifications and thus easing the verification process.

BibTeX entry:

  title = {Authoring and verification of clinical guidelines: A model driven approach},
  author = {Perez, Beatriz and Porres, Ivan},
  journal = {Journal of Biomedical Informatics},
  volume = {43},
  number = {4},
  publisher = {Elsevier},
  pages = {520–536},
  year = {2010},

Belongs to TUCS Research Unit(s): Software Engineering Laboratory (SE Lab)

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