Web of Active Documents: An Architecture for Flexible Electronic Patient Records

  • Federico Cabitza
  • Iade Gesso
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 127)


In this paper, we present the WOAD architecture, a design-oriented architecture that allows to build modular and flexible Electronic Patient Record (EPR) based on the metaphor of Active Document. An Active Document is an electronic document that users can easily built by aggregating smaller data modules, called didgets, to mimic their paper-based templates and provide them with proactive behaviors in support of daily practice. After presenting the basic elements of WOAD (i.e., datoms, didgets, templates and mechanisms), we summarize the observational studies that inspired the development of ProDoc, our first WOAD-compliant EPR, and that gave us preliminary user feedbacks for validation. We then illustrate the core implementation details of the WOAD architecture, as it has been deployed in ProDoc.


WOAD ProDoc Datoms Didgets Electronic patient record 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ash, J.S., Berg, M., Coiera, E.: Some unintended consequences of information technology in health care: The nature of patient care information system-related errors. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 11, 104–112 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Campbell, E.M., Sittig, D.F., Ash, J.S., et al.: Types of unintended consequences related to computerized provider order entry. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 13(5), 547–556 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cabitza, F., Simone, C.: WOAD: A framework to enable the end-user development of coordination oriented functionalities. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing 22(2) (2010)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cabitza, F., Simone, C., Zorzato, G.: ProDoc: an electronic patient record to foster process-oriented practices. In: ECSW 2009: Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 119–138. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Divitini, M., Simone, C.: Supporting different dimensions of adaptability in workflow modeling. Computer Supported Cooperative Work 9(3), 365–397 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dourish, P., Edwards, W.K., LaMarca, A., Lamping, J., Petersen, K., Salisbury, M., Terry, D.B., Thornton, J.: Extending document management systems with user-specific active properties. ACM Transactions on Information Systems 18(2), 140–170 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cabitza, F., Sarini, M., Simone, C.: Providing awareness through situated process maps: the hospital care case. In: GROUP 2007: Proceedings of the 2005 International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work, pp. 41–50. ACM, New York (2007)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cabitza, F., Simone, C., Sarini, M.: Leveraging coordinative conventions to promote collaboration awareness. Computer Supported Cooperative Work 18, 301–330 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pratt, W., Reddy, M.C., McDonald, D.W., Tarczy-Hornoch, P., Gennari, J.H.: Incorporating ideas from computer-supported cooperative work. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 37(2), 128–137 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Forgy, C.L.: Rete: A fast algorithm for the many pattern / many object pattern match problem. Artificial Intelligence 19(1), 17–37 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cabitza, F.: Faithful to the earth: Reporting experiences of artifact-centered design in healthcare. In: COOP 2010: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems. Springer, Heidelberg (to appear, 2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Cabitza
    • 1
  • Iade Gesso
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations