From endless medical languages to UpHill Notation

In this article, we detail how UpHill Notation works.

From endless medical languages to UpHill Notation

Representing algorithms can be quite challenging, since expressing the complexity of the relations between each moment of decision, evaluation and even reflection is not always linear. Sometimes, interpret them is even more difficult, especially when each one is “written” in a different way.

Apart from being a contradiction, trying to standardize medicine without a standardized language leads to several problems: complexity, ambiguity, and subjectivity are some of them. At the end of the day, inconsistencies in the representations compromise the adoption of clinical pathways.

No one gets clinical protocols to add more complexity to a healthcare professional day by day and that was why we have created UpHill Notation.

UpHill Notation pros

1) Analogic-first

It was design for you to draw with pen and paper (or whiteboard). Forget complex software and use century-tested instruments to translate your protocols.

2) Simple and easy

With only 3 symbols (rectangle, diamonds and circles) you can represent a myriad of clinical actions.

3) Flexible

As it was designed abstracted from any concepts specific to a disease or specialty, it is completely flexible and allows you to draw any medical algorithm, regardless the granularity level with what has been created.

4) Clear

This notation is clear to read and draws you to clarify concepts. As such, it facilitates collaboration for you to develop algorithms by yourself or when gathered with your team.

How it works?

First things, first: we have defined 3 main categories:

1) Actions: all moments on the algorithm where an activity must be done. This category includes objective examinations, prescription of drugs and other therapeutic attitudes or the request for additional diagnostic tests.

2) Decisions: all moments when a choice has to be made according to a criterion, whether is the patient's condition, signs, and symptoms or clinical results.

3) Endings: all moments of completion of a path of the algorithm. An end is not necessarily the moment of completion of the algorithm itself but be the end of one path.

And defined also a graphic representation for each of them:

There are also more two middle categories that are represented in free text:

1) Intermediate events: all the events that don’t require an action from a given professional. That includes waiting for a medicine to take effect or waiting for a peer evaluation.

2) Patient medical states: statements describing a patient’s condition.

After understanding the context of the algorithm to be represented, each moment must be sequentially framed. The purpose is to be able to express the relationship between actions, be it temporal or causal. These relations are represented as arrows.

With UpHill Notation, anyone can convert new approaches into reality, quickly and intuitively. Start by defining the initial moment and adjust the representation context of each step to frame it sequentially.

When finished, the UpHill Quality Assurance team validates all algorithms, and this is where the best part begins: it will come to life in our software. This will allow each creator to share it with his team members. Then, it’s possible to interact step by step with the algorithm, making it easier to efficiently provide care based on the best evidence available and positively impact patient's outcomes.

Learn more about UpHill Notation and take some tips to guide a designing session in your hospital.