Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


Can physicians structure clinical guidelines? experiments with a mark-up-process methodology

Book Chapter

Erez Shalom, Yuval Shahar, Meirav Taieb-Maimon, Guy Bar, Susana B. Martins, Ohad Young, Laszlo Vaszar, Yair Liel, Avi Yarkoni, Mary K. Goldstein, Et al.

Published by
Knowledge Management for Health Care Procedures, 2009


We have previously developed an architecture and a set of tools called the Digital electronic Guideline Library (DeGeL), which includes a web-based tool for structuring (marking-up) free-text clinical guidelines (GLs), namely, the URUZ Mark-up tool. In this study, we developed and evaluated a methodology and a tool for a mark-up-based specification and assessment of the quality of that specification, of procedural and declarative knowledge in clinical GLs. The methodology includes all necessary activities before, during and after the mark-up process, and supports specification and conversion of the GL’s free-text representation through semi-structured and semi-formal representations into a machine comprehensible representation. For the evaluation of this methodology, three GLs from different medical disciplines were selected. For each GL, as an indispensable step, an ontology-specific consensus was created, determined by a group of expert physicians and knowledge engineers, based on GL source. For each GL, two mark-ups in a chosen GL ontology (Asbru) were created by a distinct clinical editor; each of the clinical editors created a semi-formal mark-up of the GL using the URUZ tool. To evaluate each mark-up, a gold standard mark-up was created by collaboration of physician and knowledge engineer, and a specialized mark-up-evaluation tool was developed, which enables assessment of completeness, as well as of syntactic and semantic correctness of the mark-up. Subjective and objective measures were defined for qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the correctness (soundness) and completeness of the marked-up knowledge, with encouraging results.

Topics: Health Care