Expert systems used in health care administration

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Expert systems used in health care administration
Many health care institutions are supported by expert systems. (Image by, courtesy of Rudolf Schuba)

An expert system for health care administration is engineered to automate knowledge-based data used in the field of health care. A robust expert system provides input scenarios, problem-solving mechanisms and output data based on a review of common practices and hospital support functions. Expert systems can also emulate human behavior and logic patterns to answer questions or solve a problem.

Software features

Expert system software programs consist of large databases of information with various components integrated into a software package. Software programs include partitioned and cataloged information for user access. Databases in the software contain health care information by separating data into knowledge-based components. Most expert systems used in health care administration are Windows-based software programs that can run on any type of operating system.

Hardware features

Hardware that supports expert systems for health care administration are usually mini-computer systems such as the IBM AS400. These systems can be located in a hospital, medical institution or at a remote processing site. Other systems, such as PC-based network systems, wireless-based computer devices and cell phones, can access an expert system designated for health care administration based on security access codes usually provided by a health care information systems officer.

Create scenarios

A expert system for health care administration can create "what if" scenarios that allow doctors, nurses, researchers and patients to access information on any medical procedure, research project or administrative function. Health care information can be accessed on a "real-time" basis, which means that data is constantly updated when changes or new information is loaded into the system.


Expert systems for health care administration contain a database engine for the operation of knowledge based systems called "heuristics." Heuristics is the process of responding to a question posed to the system in the format of text, video, touch screen input or keywords and phrases. Medical personnel can create their own knowledge base components ranging from administrative procedures to medical procedures, administrative processes and discoveries for other people to examine and research.

End-user interfaces

Expert systems used in health care administration can be accessed through the Internet. An example of a web based expert system interface is a cancer patient researching information on medical advances concerning cancer. The web interface allows the end user to input their scenario and scans several databases for the latest research developments in the field of cancer research. Many of these web interfaces respond through a knowledge base in the form of text, audio or video.

Artificial intelligence

Expert systems for health care administration are designed from simplistic text-based response systems, which provide information on a certain medical topic or administrative process or complex system, addressing a range of needs through many output responses. These expert systems are expensive to operate and maintain and involve the highest level of software and hardware security to protect sensitive data.

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