Tarkan, S., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Hettinger, A. (July 2011)
This paper presents the innovative design and implementation of MSTART (Multi-Step Task Alerting, Reminding, and Tracking), which uses XML specifications of a workflow model. This model specifies a hierarchy of process definitions, which when combined with a database of actors and organizations, provides input for an Interface Generator. This novel software architecture produces a domain independent system that can be widely used and easily modified to generate MSTART applications for business, academic, or other processes. Our focus in this paper is on handling medical laboratory tests to reduce the currently dangerous number of missed laboratory reports. This paper expands on our initial work  by describing three approaches to improve test processes so as to ensure that results are returned and acted on: (1) a refined workflow definition of agent temporal responsibilities to model more complex processes, (2) a strategy to generate actor action sheets that offer appropriate choices at each step, and (3) a configuration file mechanism to more accurately predict process result times. While our examples are tied to medical laboratory tests, our design supports many multistep processes.