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Publications

Publications by António Carvalho Brito

2014

Distributed simulation framework

Authors
De Oliveira, CB; Brito, AC;

Publication
Modelling and Simulation 2014 - European Simulation and Modelling Conference, ESM 2014

Abstract
The performance of a company depends on the quality of its strategic decisions but depends also on how those decisions are implemented. Companies are composed of different units that can be geographically distributed with different levels of autonomy and local resources. Due to the complexity of the problem many companies use simulation to analyse the performance of critical sectors based on a number of scenarios. This reality requires new approaches that, taking advantage of existing models enables their integration with new models, facilitate their upgrade and allow a distributed execution. In this work we developed a Framework to integrate distributed agent-based simulators (ABMS) with a mechanism of communication TCP/IP to exchange synchronization messages and business messages based on the OASIS standard. The XML standard format was used for coding of all the messages. The communication mechanism of the Framework was developed in order to benefit from distributed computing.

2014

An Intelligent Decision Support System for the Operating Theater: A Case Study

Authors
Sperandio, F; Gomes, C; Borges, J; Brito, AC; Almada Lobo, B;

Publication
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Abstract
From long to short term planning, decision processes inherent to operating theater organization are often subject of empiricism, leading to far from optimal results. Waiting lists for surgery have always been a societal problem, which governments have been fighting with different management and operational stimulus plans. The current hospital information systems available in Portuguese public hospitals, lack a decision support system component that could help achieve better planning solutions. Thus, an intelligent decision support system has been developed, allowing the centralization and standardization of planning processes, improving the efficiency of the operating theater and tackling the waiting lists for surgery fragile situation. The intelligence of the system derives from data mining and optimization techniques, which enhance surgery duration predictions and operating rooms surgery schedules. Experimental results show significant gains, reducing overtime, undertime, and better resource utilization. Note to Practitioners-The Operating Theater (OT) is often considered hospitals' biggest budget consumer and revenue center in a hospital. This paper was motivated by a project that aims to reduce expenses and surgery waiting lists in Portuguese public hospitals, by developing an Intelligent Decision Support System (DSS) to support surgery scheduling. Prior to this research, decision makers (Surgeons, Department managers, Operating theatre managers) used their experience to make allocation, scheduling and estimation decisions. Since many of these decisions are made without analyzing past results, mistakes occur frequently, affecting the OT performance. With the help of business intelligence, data mining and optimization algorithms, surgeons' estimations can be more precise and the operating room schedule can be optimized. Preliminary experiments on the usage of DSS reveal a remarkable increase of the efficiency of the whole OT. In future research, we will extend the DSS and the techniques used to address the tactical master surgery scheduling problem, which aims to perform a better allocation of the different specialties to the operating rooms along the week. In addition, upstream and downstream resources shall be considered in the optimization module, as well as a simulation component to better evaluate generated solutions.

2013

An operating theater planning decision support system

Authors
Gomes, C; Sperandio, F; Peles, A; Borges, J; Brito, AC; Almada Lobo, B;

Publication
Information Systems and Technologies for Enhancing Health and Social Care

Abstract
The operating theater is the biggest hospital budget expenditure. The usage of surgery related resources and its intrinsic planning must be carefully devised in order to achieve better operational performance. However, from long to short term planning, the decision processes inherent to the operating theater are often the subject of empiricism. Moreover, the current hospital information systems available in Portuguese public hospitals lack a decision support system component, which could assist in achieving better planning solutions. This work reports the development of a centralized system for the operating theater planning to support decision-making tasks of surgeons, chief specialty managers, and hospital administration. Its main components concern surgery scheduling, operating theater's resource allocation and performance measurement. The enhancement of the planning processes, the increase of policy compliance, and the overall performance of the operating theater compared to the former methodologies are also discussed. © 2013, IGI Global.

2015

Architecture for centralizing healthcare services

Authors
Ferreira, D; Rocha, T; Brito, AC;

Publication
2015 10th Iberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies, CISTI 2015

Abstract
Despite the technological advances, healthcare systems still face several issues. One of the most important is the lack of communication between systems or the communication process speed. If the information about a patient is not promptly shared in time between services, it may jeopardise the practicioner-pacient relationship. In a worse scenario, the system can even become a handicap and turn the Healthcare processes down into a state of total uselessness. A lot has been done in Portugal to enable the interconnection of external healthcare applications with the ones used in the National Health Service. In this article we present an architecture to facilitate this interconnection. Based on a REST architecture and HL7 communication standards, it connects two current solutions, one for melanoma and one for blood donors, with a central healthcare data repository of the National Healthcare Service. © 2015 AISTI.

2013

DISTRIBUTED AGENT BASED SIMULATION FRAMEWORK

Authors
de Oliveira, CB; Brito, AC;

Publication
EUROPEAN SIMULATION AND MODELLING CONFERENCE 2013

Abstract
Industrial companies are faced today with strong competition and fast changing markets. To reduce the risk and evaluate alternatives, simulation is often considered to be an adequate tool. Industrial companies' simulation models must have enough internal detail to be useful but, at the same time, must take into account the external environmental behaviour. Distributed simulation has specific characteristics to allow the integration of these models but its complexity limits its use in industry as stated in the literature. To overcome these difficulties, a framework is proposed, using Agent-based Modelling and Simulation (ABMS) technique and offering communication and synchronization mechanisms, which allow the integration of simulation models in the industrial area. To promote semantic interoperability, a business language is also proposed based on the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL). To validate the framework a prototype was developed. The experiments made with the prototype shows that a distributed simulation can be more efficient than a single computer simulation as the number of agents increases in the model.

2016

Identification and Characterization of Inter-Organizational Information Flows in the Portuguese National Health Service

Authors
Pinto, E; Brito, AC; Cruz Correia, RJ;

Publication
APPLIED CLINICAL INFORMATICS

Abstract
Objectives: To understand and build a collective vision of all existing institutions in the Portuguese National Health Service as well as to perceive how and how far the interaction between those multiple institutions is supported by Information Systems (IS). Methods: Upon identification of the institutions involved in the healthcare process, a set of interviews with experienced people from those institutions was conducted, which produced about five hours of tape. The research was focused exclusively on processes involving two different organizations and any internal processes were altogether excluded from it. Results: The study allowed the identification of about 50 recurrent interaction processes, which were classified into four different varieties in accordance with the nature of the information flow: administrative, clinical, identificational and statistical. In addition, these processes were divided in accordance with the way how that integration is achieved, from completely automated to email or telephone-based. Conclusions: Funds/Money related processes are technologically more rigid and standardized, whereas auditing and inspection ones are less supported by automatic systems. There emerged an interesting level of sharing and integration in clinical processes, although the integration is mostly made at the interface level. The authors identified 5 particularly relevant and dominant actors (2 classes of individuals and 3 institutions) with which there is a need for coordination and cooperation. The authors consider that, in future works, an effort should be made to provide the various institutions with guidelines/interfaces and prompt such institutions to elaborate upon these.

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