INFORM: Development of information management and decision support systems for high dependency environments

Claire Bowes (Corresponding Author), Claudio Ambroso, Ewart Carson, Marie-Christine Chambrin, Derek Cramp, Kenneth Gilhooly, Torgny Groth, James Hunter, Seppo Kalli, Mark Leaning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The long-term aim in the INFORM Project is to develop, evaluate and implement a new generation of Information Systems for hospital High Dependency Environments (HDE — Intensive Care Units, Neonatal Units, Burns Units, Operating and Recovery Rooms, and other specialised areas). The distinguishing feature of the HDE is the very large amount of data that is collected through monitors and paper records about the state of critically ill patients; this has made the role of the staff a technical one in addition to a caring one. The INFORM System will integrate Decision Support with on-line, off-line and observed patient data and, in addition, will incorporate and integrate unit management features.

In the Exploratory Phase of the Project, functional requirements have been set out. These are based on four components: conceptual model of the HDE; evaluation of existing HDE Information Systems; development of a novel software architecture using a Knowledge-Based Systems (KBS) methodology, and based on a critical review of KBS applied to the HDE; monitoring of appropriate leading-edge technological developments.

The conceptual model has two components: a patient-related information model, and a department-related cost model. The patient-related model is identifying key and difficult areas of decision making. A key aspect of INFORM is integration of clinical Decision Support for these areas into the Information System through a layered software architecture. The lower layers are concerned with monitoring and alarming and the higher levels with patient assessment and therapy planning.
The functionality and interconnection of these layers are being determined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991
MoE publication typeNot Eligible


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