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A Step Toward Improving Healthcare Information Integration & Decision Support: Ontology, Sustainability and Resilience



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The healthcare industry is a complex system with numerous stakeholders, including patients, providers, insurers, and government agencies. To improve healthcare quality and population well-being, there is a growing need to leverage data and IT (Information Technology) to support better decision-making. Healthcare information systems (HIS) are developed to store, process, and disseminate healthcare data. One of the main challenges with HIS is effectively managing the large amounts of data to support decision-making. This requires integrating data from disparate sources, such as electronic health records, clinical trials, and research databases. Ontology is one approach to address this challenge. However, understanding ontology in the healthcare domain is complex and difficult. Another challenge is to use HIS on scheduling and resource allocation in a sustainable and resilient way that meets multiple conflicting objectives. This is especially important in times of crisis when demand for resources may be high, and supply may be limited. This research thesis aims to explore ontology theory and develop a methodology for constructing HIS that can effectively support better decision-making in terms of scheduling and resource allocation while considering system resiliency and social sustainability. The objectives of the thesis are: (1) studying the theory of ontology in healthcare data and developing a deep model for constructing HIS; (2) advancing our understanding of healthcare system resiliency and social sustainability; (3) developing a methodology for scheduling with multi-objectives; and (4) developing a methodology for resource allocation with multi-objectives. The following conclusions can be drawn from the research results: (1) A data model for rich semantics and easy data integration can be created with a clearer definition of the scope and applicability of ontology; (2) A healthcare system's resilience and sustainability can be significantly increased by the suggested design principles; (3) Through careful consideration of both efficiency and patients' experiences and a novel optimization algorithm, a scheduling problem can be made more patient-accessible; (4) A systematic approach to evaluating efficiency, sustainability, and resilience enables the simultaneous optimization of all three criteria at the system design stage, leading to more efficient distributions of resources and locations for healthcare facilities. The contributions of the thesis can be summarized as follows. Scientifically, this thesis work has expanded our knowledge of ontology and data modelling, as well as our comprehension of the healthcare system's resilience and sustainability. Technologically or methodologically, the work has advanced the state of knowledge for system modelling and decision-making. Overall, this thesis examines the characteristics of healthcare systems from a system viewpoint. Three ideas in this thesis—the ontology-based data modelling approach, multi-objective optimization models, and the algorithms for solving the models—can be adapted and used to affect different aspects of disparate systems.



ontology, healthcare information systems, resiliency, social sustainability, scheduling, multi-objectives optimization, decision-making, resource allocation,



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical Engineering


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