POP-PL: A patient-oriented prescription programming language

Spencer P. Florence*, Burke Fetscher, Matthew Flatt, William H. Temps, Tina Kiguradze, Dennis P West, Charlotte Niznik, Paul R. Yarnold, Robert Findler, Steven M Belknap

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medical professionals have long used algorithmic thinking to describe and implement health care processes without the benefit of the conceptual framework provided by a programming language. Instead, medical algorithms are expressed using English, flowcharts, or data tables. This results in prescriptions that are difficult to understand, hard to debug, and awkward to reuse. This paper reports on the design and evaluation of a domainspecific programming language, POP-PL, for expressing medical algorithms. The design draws on the experience of researchers in two disciplines, programming languages and medicine. The language is based around the idea that programs and humans have complementary strengths, that when combined can make for safer, more accurate performance of prescriptions. We implemented a prototype of our language and evaluated its design by writing prescriptions in the new language and administering a usability survey to medical professionals. This formative evaluation suggests that medical prescriptions can be conveyed by a programming language's mode of expression and provides useful information for refining the language. Analysis of the survey results suggests that medical professionals can understand and correctly modify programs in POP-PL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGPCE 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Generative Programming
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts and Experiences
EditorsChristian Kastner, Aniruddha Gokhale
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages131-140
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336871
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015
Event14th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Generative Programming: Concepts and Experiences, GPCE 2015 - Pittsburgh, United States
Duration: Oct 26 2015Oct 27 2015

Publication series

NameGPCE 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Generative Programming: Concepts and Experiences

Other

Other14th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Generative Programming: Concepts and Experiences, GPCE 2015
CountryUnited States
CityPittsburgh
Period10/26/1510/27/15

Keywords

  • DSL Design
  • Empirical Evaluation
  • Medical Prescriptions
  • Medical Programming Languages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications

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