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An Agent-based Knowledge Management Framework for Electronic Health Record Interoperability

Fang Cao1, Norm Archer2, and Skip Poehlman1
1. McMaster University/Department of Computing and Software, Hamilton, Canada
2. McMaster University/DeGroote School of Business, Hamilton, Canada
AbstractIn recent years, the dramatic increase in the use of information technology for healthcare has resulted in much innovative research on eHealth applications. But it has been widely acknowledged that unlocking the real value in clinical records is highly dependent upon health information standards that allow interoperability between various clinical systems, supporting the easy exchange of records among stakeholders in the patients circle of care. This paper proposes a software agent based virtual integration framework to integrate multiple electronic health record (EHR) systems from distributed (possibly heterogeneous) databases, featuring three properties. First, a loose coupling between EHR formats and software engineering of the application allows the agent based framework to be flexible for on-line reconfiguration and deployment. Second, the framework is designed with a knowledge base that supports both medical practitioners and consumers, by managing healthcare information at a higher knowledge-based level. Third, the framework integrates distributed databases as well as adaptive user interfaces to support personalized health information systems, which can be used by a range of users with differing requirements. We believe that this agent-based technical framework also demonstrates a new direction for handling other eHealth interoperability issues such as the development of personal health record systems, as well as providing a technical foundation for developing clinical decision support systems.

Index TermseHealth, interoperability, electronic health records, agents, framework, integration

Cite: Fang Cao, Norm Archer, and Skip Poehlman, "An Agent-based Knowledge Management Framework for Electronic Health Record Interoperability," Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 119-128, November 2009. doi:10.4304/jetwi.1.2.119-128
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