The ‘WhatIf?’ utility was intended for usage as a helper aid for complex processes in automated environments. It was to break down a larger more complex task into a smaller sequence of questions which when followed would aid in arriving at the result that is expected for the larger task, thereby reducing the required skill level of the person performing the task.
For example when a nurse is performing a medical assessment and has to enter a grade for verbal communication, it requires the person to summarize more than one individual event to arrive at a grade for the item. Which means a person with the skill to make that kind of assessment. If a ‘WhatIf?’ kind of utility were used a relatively less skilled (thereby more economical in terms of labor) person can be used.
That person would on initiating the ‘WhatIf?’ for the item, be asked a question such as “Is the patient conscious”, if not the user is given a pre-defined grade of something like, ‘The patient is unconscious / comatose and thereby no mode of verbal communication is possible’. If the answer had been yes to the first question, then the user may be prompted with a question asking “Is the patient able to speak?”. If yes to that, the user may be asked if the patient is able to form sentences and get across what he / she wants to convey, if yes on that, if he is able to speak without too much effort or strain put into it, so on and so on. At the end of this questionnaire, the value / grade appropriate to the actual status of the patient vis-a-vis verbal communication can be arrived at based on the answers to the questions put forward.
The application was created in two parts, the WhatIF Definition Engine and What If Questionnaire. The definition should allow for the user / administrator to define the sequence of questions and to specify the answer at each perceived logical end point. The questionnaire would, when called from any place, present the questionnaire to the end-user in the form of a web compatible interface thereby allowing lower skilled persons to perform a higher grade of tasks.
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