Handling expressiveness and comprehensibility requirements in GLIF3

Mor Peleg, Aziz A. Boxwala, Samson Tu, Robert A. Greenes, Edward H. Shortliffe, Vimla L. Patel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Clinical guidelines are aimed at standardizing patient care and improving its quality and cost effectiveness. Guidelines represented in a computer-interpretable (CI) format can be used to provide automatic decision support applied to individual patients during the clinical encounter. The process of creating computer-interpretable guidelines (CIG) removes ambiguities contained in paper-based guidelines, thus making the guideline more comprehensible. For these reasons, CIGs may have a larger impact on clinician behavior than paper-based guidelines. Since much effort goes into creating guidelines in a CI format, it is desirable that different institutions and software systems share them. In a guideline representation workshop hosted by the InterMed Collaboratory in March 2000, the need for a standard representation format for sharable CIGs was recognized. As a first step towards achieving this goal, we proposed a set of functional requirements for sharable CIGs. The requirements encompass the entire life cycle of a CIG: development, implementation, use and maintenance. In this paper we discuss requirements that are important during the development stage of a CIG. We have abstracted the requirements into two groups: expressiveness-the ability to express the knowledge content of different types of guidelines-and comprehensibility-the ability to manage complexity, facilitate coherence, and visualize a guideline model to aid in human comprehension. The Guideline Interchange Format version 3 (GLIF3) is a language for structured representation of CIGs. It is under development to facilitate sharing CIGs among different institutions and systems. We illustrate how GLIF3 meets the specified development requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMEDINFO 2001 - Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Medical Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)1586031945, 9781586031947
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event10th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2001 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20055 Sep 2005

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference10th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Clinical practice guideline
  • knowledge representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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