Structuring Clinical Practice Guidelines in a Relational Database Model for Decision Support on the Internet
The rapid proliferation of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) has made computerization increasingly useful to clinicians. Computerization, however, requires transformation of the content and logic of each guideline into a computer-accessible form. In this project, we sought to use a relational database to construct a generalized guideline knowledge base for use with Internet-based decision support applications. We hypothesized that knowledge representation schemes could be developed to capture guideline content and logic within the constraints of a relational database model. In this paper we describe a database schema based on a relational model for computerizing CPGs using a hybrid of structured and procedural knowledge representation schemes. We developed and refined this model in the context of five diverse CPGs and found it accommodated all necessary representational requirements.