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Workshop 2. Enhancing Health Data Utilization with Hypertext

Organizers: Diego Rivera, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, and Dr. Tammy Sieminowski, Physician

Contact: riverady@gmail.com

Description: The goal of this workshop is to identify opportunities to use hypertext, annotation, and social computing in making better use of emerging sensor and information technologies in healthcare.  We expect that a broad range of research approaches will be relevant to this workshop, with issues including the role of hypertext in the design of EHR systems, and best practices in the design of annotated and hyperlinked health applications. This workshop is timely because new technologies are making it possible to sense, collect and deliver information in a more agile fashion. There is increasing use of electronic health records and sensors of various types. There is also an increased prevalence of mobile devices in hospitals. All of this information needs to be organized, linked, and made accessible in the right format to the right person, at the right time. Attendees will be selected based on submission of a position paper. A collection of revised and peer reviewed position papers may be submitted as a special issue for a journal if a suitable publication source can be identified.

How to Participate: Submit a 2 page position paper by Friday April 30.  This paper should address your background, experience in hypertext and hypermedia, and questions that you wish to address have concerning how links work in communication.  Notifications will be by Monday May 3 and the last day for early bird registrations is Wednesday May 5.

More Details: An electronic health record (EHR) is a collection of patient information and are designed to combine data from a number of systems such as: pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology, etc. EHR systems can be further enhanced to include or provide access to other information such as clinical notes, patient assessments, etc.  However, despite the existence of these systems,there are still situations where information is not readily available to the patient and health providers.  Thus patients or health care providers may need to remember important health events and to repeatedly search for historical information that can aid the assessment of patient' present health condition. In today’s networked society this problem is magnified by the increased adoption of technology which makes information abundant and pervasive.

However, it is this increased pervasiveness of information that can create opportunities for new hypertext applications. It can help make relevant information more assessable and contextual.  Thus, streamlining clinical processes and supporting real time decision making by offering timely and more contextual information to the right user. For example, we can easily foresee scenarios where:

  • EHRs are enhanced with “social annotations” from health care providers or even patients’ family members that add relevant information about the patients health state.
  • In a hospital settings, critical health indicators are integrated with EHR-CPOE through real time sensing.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide a forum to discuss issues and opportunities of making patient health information more accessible and ubiquous with the aim of improving the quality of health. We will explore ways to rethink how we access and organize patient information, to ensure it is provided at the right time, to the right person and the appropriate level of detail for the task at hand.

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