Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Journal of clinical monitoring and computing

Big data analytics research using heterogeneous electronic health record (EHR) data requires accurate identification of disease phenotype cases and controls. Overreliance on ground truth determination based on administrative data can lead to biased and inaccurate findings. Hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (HA-VTE) is challenging to identify due to its temporal evolution and variable EHR documentation. To establish ground truth for machine learning modeling, we compared accuracy of HA-VTE diagnoses made by administrative coding to manual review of gold standard diagnostic test results. We performed retrospective analysis of EHR data on 3680 adult stepdown unit patients identifying HA-VTE. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9-CM) codes for VTE were identified. 4544 radiology reports associated with VTE diagnostic tests were screened using terminology extraction and then manually reviewed by a clinical expert to confirm diagnosis. Of 415 cases with ICD-9-CM codes for VTE, 219 were identified with acute onset type codes. Test report review identified 158 new-onset HA-VTE cases. Only 40% of ICD-9-CM coded cases (n = 87) were confirmed by a positive diagnostic test report, leaving the majority of administratively coded cases unsubstantiated by confirmatory diagnostic test. Additionally, 45% of diagnostic test confirmed HA-VTE cases lacked corresponding ICD codes. ICD-9-CM coding missed diagnostic test-confirmed HA-VTE cases and inaccurately assigned cases without confirmed VTE, suggesting dependence on administrative coding leads to inaccurate HA-VTE phenotyping. Alternative methods to develop more sensitive and specific VTE phenotype solutions portable across EHR vendor data are needed to support case-finding in big-data analytics.

Pellathy Tiffany, Saul Melissa, Clermont Gilles, Dubrawski Artur W, Pinsky Michael R, Hravnak Marilyn


Administrative coding, Big data analytics, Electronic health record data, Machine learning, Phenotyping, Venous thromboembolism