A programming language specifically designed for automated time-dependent decision-making during patient monitoring (obtaining test requests, scheduling of test requests, cancelling of test requests, the issuing of messages to clinician or laboratory) has been developed. The output from a program written in this language is a set of decision rules in tabular form (a patient type), intended to solve a specific problem related to patient monitoring. A system for automated decision-making based on this language utilizes a file of patient types and a patient file. Whenever a new patient record is created, the patient's type is defined and the corresponding patient type is copied from the patient type file and linked to the patient's record. The system is activated, i.e., the decision rules are implemented and the tables of the patient's type updated, when laboratory results are available, when a clinician wants to order tests, and at regular user-defined intervals.