Automated chart review for asthma cohort identification using natural language processing: An exploratory study

Stephen T. Wu*, Sunghwan Sohn, K. E. Ravikumar, Kavishwar Wagholikar, Siddhartha R. Jonnalagadda, Hongfang Liu, Young J. Juhn

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Background A significant proportion of children with asthma have delayed diagnosis of asthma by health care providers. Manual chart review according to established criteria is more accurate than directly using diagnosis codes, which tend to under-identify asthmatics, but chart reviews are more costly and less timely. Objective To evaluate the accuracy of a computational approach to asthma ascertainment, characterizing its utility and feasibility toward large-scale deployment in electronic medical records. Methods A natural language processing (NLP) system was developed for extracting predetermined criteria for asthma from unstructured text in electronic medical records and then inferring asthma status based on these criteria. Using manual chart reviews as a gold standard, asthma status (yes vs no) and identification date (first date of a "yes" asthma status) were determined by the NLP system. Results Patients were a group of children (n = 112, 84% Caucasian, 49% girls) younger than 4 years (mean 2.0 years, standard deviation 1.03 years) who participated in previous studies. The NLP approach to asthma ascertainment showed sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and median delay in diagnosis of 84.6%, 96.5%, 88.0%, 95.4%, and 0 months, respectively; this compared favorably with diagnosis codes, at 30.8%, 93.2%, 57.1%, 82.2%, and 2.3 months, respectively. Conclusion Automated asthma ascertainment from electronic medical records using NLP is feasible and more accurate than traditional approaches such as diagnosis codes. Considering the difficulty of labor-intensive manual record review, NLP approaches for asthma ascertainment should be considered for improving clinical care and research, especially in large-scale efforts.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)364-369
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    Volume111
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 2013

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology
    • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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